Chivas Bartender Profile: Adam Teolis of Nota Bene

Bartending isn’t what it used to be. Hence, neither is the cocktail. We caught up with eight seasoned bartenders (who have all been ranked as some of Canada’s finest) from our favourite establishments across Toronto. All of the bartenders faced the same challenge: to create a modern spin on a classic scotch cocktail using the beloved Chivas 12-Year-Old or Chivas 18-Year-Old. We took in the art and creative process of cocktail crafting and sat down with the mixologists for a little insight into their cocktail creation and career choice. We kick it off with Adam Teolis from Queen Street’s award-winning Nota Bene restaurant.

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
My job in a nutshell is to ensure that every person that walks in the door is welcomed, their expectations are exceeded, and they leave with the memory of something exceptional. 

How did you start in this business? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I started in the business working as a line cook at a busy restaurant in Muskoka called Bass Lake. I realized quickly that I loved bartending for its ability to allow for both guest interaction and creativity.

Chivas 18 stands out from the crowd. What differentiates your bartending style from the competition?
I really like to push myself by being extremely critical of every ingredient, step and technique that I am using. I like to get away from the standard 1oz pour to differentiate from the competition.


What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of what I do is experimenting with new ideas and working with my team to expand and develop them into something that people will taste and truly love. The most difficult is replying to the tons of emails that pile up while I am busy experimenting.

Speaking of experimenting, your Chivas cocktail, The Consigliere, is a modern interpretation of a classic Godfather. What was your inspiration behind creating this cocktail?
Based on the classic scotch cocktail The Godfather, my Chivas Cocktail, The Consigliere, creates a similar flavour profile but shows much more complexity and balance. True to the movie characters, the Consigliere has the more delicate task of interpreting the instructions of the Godfather to a wider audience and in a much more delicate manner. It’s as though the Godfather’s blend of Scotch and Amaretto is a bold statement the Consigliere  interprets to create with a flavour profile that is much more refined and palatable to those around them.

If your cocktail were a person, how would you describe them? 
This cocktail as a person, to stay true to the name, would have to be Robert Duvall or his character Tom Hagen. Tom Hagen grew up paying close attention to Vito Corleone and learnt from him the ability to analyze the subtleties of human behaviour, making him an expert at blending in to the outside world.


What does success look like to you?
Success to me is knowing that you are doing exactly what you enjoy doing the most and coming home to a fully stocked bar!

What is your most memorable moment on the job?
My most memorable moment is probably the time I dumped a tray of pick-me-up martinis on a beautiful young lady while working at the Four Seasons in Whistler.

Who would you most like to share a Chivas with?
I would most like to share a Chivas with Louis Armstrong.

What to you is notable?
Notable to me is finding or learning about something that is truly unique and inspiring.

In your opinion, how is Chivas best enjoyed?
I believe Chivas is best enjoyed chilled on one large ice cube on a bearskin rug in front of a nine-foot rock fireplace decorated with rich tapestries.