What should you never order at a bar? What annoys a mixologist the most? Aki Eguchi, bar programme director of the Jigger & Pony group of F&B establishments and Absolut ELYX brand ambassador, spills the beans.
Want the best stuff ? You don’t need to order a bespoke cocktail. “I’ve always been puzzled as to why people have the impression that bespoke cocktails are ‘better’ than something on the menu. They’re usually just tweaks on standard cocktail recipes we already have in mind. Besides, we have limited fresh ingredients at the bar, and the best ones are usually reserved for our onthe- menu tipples.”
It’s all about gins in the new year. “Gins have been gaining popularity over the past year, and I see them still being the in drinks in 2017 – specifically, gins from smaller distilleries such as the Kinobi Kyoto Dry Gin, which is made using Japanese botanicals. If you want to try gins in a cocktail, order Gibson Cocktail Bar’s namesake cocktail, The Gibson, made with specially commissioned sake-vermouth made in Japan mixed with Tanqueray No. Ten Gin and condiments such as pickled onions and ginger, and smoked quail’s egg.”
The bartender can be your best friend. “All bartenders can tell if you’re on a date, especially if you’re on a Tinder one – the initial awkwardness is quite obvious. If you’re familiar with the bartender, sit at the counter so we can take care of you. Otherwise, I’ll always recommend a quiet table in a corner as the counter can get crowded and noisy. I also keep a lookout for drunk guys who may harass groups of girlfriends sitting at the bar counter; if that happens, I’ll off er the girls a table away from the men.”
You actually can arrive at a bar right before closing time. “We won’t turn you away, but please don’t order a complicated cocktail. We throw away all fresh ingredients at last order, and there won’t be anything left to make a proper cocktail with. If you order beer or wine, that’s absolutely fine. That said, I will ask you to leave if you throw up in my bar.”
Please, don’t order a Tequila Sunrise or a Sex on the Beach. “These cocktails are really, really not cool. I’ll make them for you, of course, but I will quietly judge you.”
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COORDINATION TAN MIN YAN PHOTOGRAPHY WINSTON CHUANG ART DIRECTION ALICE CHUA.