Spirit Cruises 2019 Leaderboard

Behind the Bar: Aaron Deary of Suraya

by Drink Philly on Aug 8, 2018 in Culture

 
This time on Behind the Bar, we spoke to Aaron Deary of Suraya, Fishtown’s newest hotspot. Deary, who has been the bar manager at Suraya since its opening in November 2017 and previously spent two years behind the bar at ROOT restaurant & wine bar, was born in Derry, Ireland and moved to Philadelphia five years ago. We chatted about milk punches, where he likes to fish, and what he really thinks of frosé.
 
Drink Philly (DP): Tell me a little bit about the place.
Aaron Deary (AD): Suraya is a Lebanese-inspired restaurant with a lot of meaning behind it. The name comes from the owners’ [brother and sister Roland Kassis and Nathalie Richan] grandmother, and this was a restaurant they wanted to do for a long time. It’s a culmination of a lot of things - mostly Lebanese cuisine but with a modern American twist, especially in the cocktail program.
 
DP: Have you bartended elsewhere?
AD: ROOT, and before that, I was at Vesper. Before that, mostly Irish bars.
 
 
DP: What’s trendy right now?
AD: Milk punches or any sorts of clarified cocktails.
 
DP: What are some trends you wish would die?
AD: Frosé.
 
DP: Any predictions about where the industry might go next?
AD: Irish whiskey is making a comeback - ones like Teeling. They’re using different casks finishes and different mash builds, so you’ll see Irish Whiskey with more character and not just that mellow, smooth cereal flavor you’re used to.
 
 
DP: One unexpected fact about you?
AD: I enjoy fishing, anywhere I can. The most beautiful places I’ve fished so far is Key West or the Gulf Coast.
 
DP: Favorite beer?
AD: Anything from Half Acre.
 
DP: Favorite liquor?
AD: Rum, to work with and to drink, especially the funky ones.
 
DP: Favorite cocktail?
AD: Boulevardier [a Negroni variation made with whiskey].
 
 
DP: What’s your favorite kind of customer?
AD: Anyone who’s willing to dive right in, doesn’t have too many restrictions, and lets me lead them into what they should be eating or drinking based on their preferences. If you’re at my bar, ask a lot of questions.
 
DP: What do you think the essentials are for a good home bar?
AD: Sweet vermouth, a good bottle of gin, a cask strength bourbon, Campari or Contratto Bitter, and a bottle of green chartreuse — just because.
 

The Tempest: El Dorado 12 year rum, éclat-contratto, rhum barbancourt, chocolate bitters, urfa-vermouth
 
DP: Where do you go for a drink when you’re not working?
AD: Canyon at Philadelphia Distilling for delicious cocktails and good times, Daryl at Smith’s (my local spot), my man Steve at Root —and I love going to anyone at Fountain Porter for a beer and a burger.
 
DP: What’s the secret to being a great bartender?
AD: Hospitality.
 
DP: If you could have a drink with any famous person, living or dead, who would it be and what would you drink?
AD: Frank Sinatra, and we’d probably end up drinking Jack Daniels. He oozes cool.
 
Photos via Drink Philly

Tags: Behind the Bar
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Meet Woodford Reserve's Master Distiller at a Special Bourbon Pairing Dinner, February 27

Meet Woodford Reserve's Master Distiller at a Special Bourbon Pairing Dinner, February 27

On Wednesday, February 27 from 6 PM - 9 PM, meet Woodford Reserve's master dillister at an exclusive bourbon p...read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 6, 2019
Join Drink Philly for its Fourth Annual Wine & Chocolate Social, February 15

Join Drink Philly for its Fourth Annual Wine & Chocolate Social, February 15

Drink Philly's sweetest event is back for its 4th year - so after you celebrate Valentine's Day, join us for o...read more ›

by Drink Philly Jan 15, 2019
SPONSORED
Wine and Chocolate Social 2019 desktop rectangle
Try Rare & Hard to Find Wines at the Cellar Tasting at the Rittenhouse, February 17

Try Rare & Hard to Find Wines at the Cellar Tasting at the Rittenhouse, February 17

The Rittenhouse Hotel's annual cellar tasting is back, and will return on Sunday, February 17 from 2 PM - 5 PM...read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 6, 2019
The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

Here it is - the definitive list of Philadelphia's best cocktail bars....read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 13, 2017
The Eighth Annual Philly Bierfest Celebrates the Rich History of Brewing German-Style Beers in Pennsylvania, February 23

The Eighth Annual Philly Bierfest Celebrates the Rich History of Brewing German-Style Beers in Pennsylvania, February 23

On Saturday, February 23 from 2 PM - 5:30 PM, the German Society of Philadelphia will host Philly Bierfest 201...read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 6, 2019
You Can Now Drink Wine Out of a 'Pringles Can' Tumbler

You Can Now Drink Wine Out of a 'Pringles Can' Tumbler

After a news story about a woman in Texas who was asked to leave Walmart for drinking wine out of an empty Pringles can went viral, one enterprising E...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Feb 5, 2019
Where to Celebrate Valentine's Day 2019 in Philadelphia

Where to Celebrate Valentine's Day 2019 in Philadelphia

Here are the best happenings for lovers in Philadelphia on Thursday, February 14. ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Feb 5, 2019
Tired Hands to Open New Location Across From Fishtown Beer Garden

Tired Hands to Open New Location Across From Fishtown Beer Garden

Ardmore based brewery Tired Hands is opening its first brick-and-mortar bar and restaurant within Philadelphia. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 4, 2019
Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Whether it's for the holidays or you have a special birthday coming up, Philadelphia has some amazing options when it comes to event spaces. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 26, 2018
SPONSORED
Audrey's Apartment Party 2018 Recap Photos
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close