Sebastian Cosmo Soto
The Baxter Inn
152 — 156 Clarence Street Sydney
One of the nicest guys going, Cosmo is cast from the old-school bartender mould: that means he know his drinks as well as the next guy but he’ll be the one talking to you rather than at you. No pretence, no need to be a startender, and a great ‘tache to boot.
How long have you been bartending?
7 years, roughly.
Where have you worked previously?
Shady Pines, Hunky Dory, Rambutan, Garden Brasserie, The Loft, Cohibar
Before you were bartending what were you doing with yourself?
Highschool. Yeah, it’s been a while.
What is your proudest moment behind the bar?
Getting the call up for The Baxter Inn.
And the most embarrassing?
Acquiring my nickname, “Cosmo”. it involved a broken boston and a very wet shirt on a trial shift.
How do you keep the ‘chat’ up while you’re at work?
A shot of rye always does the trick!
What advice would you give a rookie bartender?
Do NOT drop a drink on yourself on your trial shift.
What’s been your favourite bar to work in?
The Baxter Inn.
What’s your favourite bar gadget?
The trusty jigger. Pouring whisky all day without one could get messy.
What’s your favourite city to visit?
New York and also Antigua (Guatemala).
What’s your favourite movie?
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
What’s your favourite song?
I don’t really have one but my favourite karaoke song is La Bamba (plus you get a sweet air guitar solo).
What’s your favourite sport?
American football and real football.
What’s your favourite cocktail?
Daiquiris! Quality rum, fresh lime, and sugar to taste. Simple yet amazing. I like it the way the Japanese guy makes it on the ‘true originals’ ad.
What spirit should people be drinking more of?
Definitely more and more whisky.
Can you tell us some of your favourite bars to drink at? (national & international)
Black Pearl in Melbourne (we all know why), Death and Co. in NY, Stuffed Beaver in Bondi (wings and sports, you can’t go wrong) and all the Swillhouse venues.
What is your favourite product to work with at the moment and why?
So hard to choose, I would say I’m very loyal to Jim Beam Rye though, also Blue Alize has always been a favourite.
What is the weirdest or strangest drink you’ve ever had?
The wierdest and strangest drink I have had was in this real disgustingly awesome dive bar in Santiago Chile called a terremoto. Which means earthquake. Huge amount of free poured Fernet Branca, pineapple sorbet, and topped up with a cheap cider. So weird but they really did the job, people were throwing up everywhere.
What’s the most enjoyable occasion to have a drink?
Every Sunday seems to be my favourite occasion. Baxter is obviously closed Sundays.
What do you drink to…
Unwind after a long shift?
Fernet Branca and large refreshing glass of some bitter and hoppy IPA.
Impress a date?
To impress a lady I would probably get a bottle of champagne, doesn’t usually work though…
If you could have a drink with one person (alive or dead) who would it be and why?
I would probably put my drinking pants on and drink daiquiris with Ernest Hemingway.
Rye whiskey or Tequila?
What was the last book you bought?
Last book I remember buying was Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba. It’s all about the Bacardi family and their influence in Cuba.
What drink trends are popular at the moment?
I’m waiting for Cognac and brandy to make a return.
If you could have a superhuman power what would it be – why?
Time control, it would be amazing to fix the stupid things I say and do, also there’s so many possibilities.
If you were to be something other than a bartender, what would it be and why?
Probably a teacher (not kids though) or something to do with interaction with people.
Who’s your hero?
So many heroes, so I’ll pick a fictional one: the 007 himself, James Bond!
What products do you think will be popular over the coming months?
Irish whiskey, Cognac, and some other random spirit categories.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years time?
Hopefully on a beach bar in a tropical country doing the same thing i do now with the only difference being having my name above the front door.
Last drink ever – what would it be?
A really large delicious beer.