Erik Thordarson wins Winnipeg contest with a unique tropical cocktail

Erik Thordarson, bartender in Winnipeg’s own Sous-Sol, is one of the four winners of the Canadian Hennessy bartender contest.

Credits: Clay Ridd


Erik Thordarson is truly the cat’s meow. The 30-year-old general manager of Sous Sol, a French restaurant and cocktail bar located on Osborne Street in Downtown Winnipeg, won the Hennessy bartender contest, in Winnipeg. This makes him one of the winners of the competition held in four major cities in Canada: Winnipeg, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary.


“I love to teach and work with a co-bartender much like a chef and a sous-chef,” says Thordarson, while sharing his work ethic. “I believe it’s critical to have someone on you bounce ideas off, so that once a while they can question your technique and make you realize there is a better way to do it.”

“You’re allowed to be happy, but if you’re not trying to get better every single day, what are you even doing?”

For the challenging competition, the contestant, who describes himself as fun, honest and silly, came up with quite a unique cocktail: the Petit Richard.

Credits: Clay Ridd


The drink that mixes Hennessy Very Special with fruits like pineapple, pear or coconut, came as a bang.

“It takes roots from the famous Sauternes style of wine,” explains the one who triumphed over seven other mixologists. “It has a depth of flavours, intense rich sweetness and an underlying balance of acidity. The Ugni Blanc-based Hennessy provides the foundation for the delicious grape flavour as well as the oak,” he continues. “Some of the other flavours from the fruits and vegetables are more pronounced, others more subtle.”

Credits: Clay Ridd

Always trying to challenge himself, the creative bartender made his own almond-based Orgeat syrup, but used Rose Water instead of Orange flower as it represents the flavour of Sauternes better. He even sweetened his Orgeat with honey that was harvested exclusively in downtown Winnipeg. What a treat for the judges!


Thordarson went above and beyond even while naming his cocktail. With respect to the world class winemakers of Sauternes, he decided to name it just as they would do for a Second wine (an affordable alternative to the First Growth Bordeaux wines); Petit Richard, after Richard Hennessy.

Credits: Clay Ridd

Make your own Petit Richard.
Here’s the recipe:

– 45ml Hennessy Very Special
– Muddled pineapple
– Pear
– Coconut
– Carrot
– Dill
– Fig
– Vanilla soaked apricot
– Lime zest
– 15ml lemon
– 15ml Rose & Honey Orgeat



I confirm that I have reached the legal drinking and purchasing age within my country of residence.