What got you hooked in the first place?
Nobody is born to be a bartender. You don’t tell the whole classroom back in school that your dream is to be a bartender. But I was lucky to be trained by the right people and working with the right team that gave me hardcore lessons in bartending that eventually stirred that interest.veroxybd.comБлоки погребаhttp://rtisnab.ru
I enjoyed filling glasses to the brim, and making people smile with my craft. Or teasing the guests with my flair act. Also, I love meeting and making new friends every day; I am a people’s person.
Tell us more about your journey, which bars have you graced?
I started in 2001 at Coco Carib, Clarke Quay. That’s where it all began. Then I moved on to Hyatt Brix and Mezza Nine, tenured at a few other clubs in Boat Quay then finally at Harry’s Bar as the Group Bar Trainer.
You are also a flairer. What do you think about flairing in Singapore?
Flair bartending is a craft that has been forgotten and often misunderstood by the masses. People often associate Flair with throwing bottles and being a clown behind the bar, but there is more to flair bartending than just flipping tins.
In the mid 90’s, Flair bartending in Singapore brought the industry to another level and was recognised worldwide. Patrons and guests began to appreciate Working Flair as a form of entertainment, part of the process of making and dispensing drinks. New bartenders should learn to balance flair, quality of drinks and efficiency in the bar rather than just focusing on flair.
Currently, the only Flair bar that exists or that I know of in Singapore is our GEM Bar and Zui Hong Lou. We hold ‘Singapore Legends Flair Shift’ and ‘International Flair Bartenders Shift’ every quarter of the year and the response was massive!
What are your favourite cocktails to make?
Honestly, I may sound patriotic but I love making the Singapore Sling. For ages, I’ve made new friends from all over the world by just shaking the Singapore Sling. It’s a good ice breaker when there are new faces at the bar because there are always stories to tell.
Tell us about some of your best inventions for ESTB…
One of the best seller is of course The Flower Song cocktail, our alcoholic take on the refreshing Chrysanthemen Tea. There is also Perfection, a mix of Raspberry and Sour Plum that left quite a few bartenders stunned with that combination. And for the brave, the infamous R&K, unique to ESTB outlets. You can never get R&K anywhere else in Singapore.
What makes a good bar like GEM great?
GEM is known for its simplicity. It’s the most unpretentious bar I know because everything lies in the fundamentals. A chef can open his own restaurant, a bartender can open his own bar, and a DJ can open his own dance club, but here at ESTB, we work together with our individual strengths to integrate all the three components.
The chef innovates great food, bartenders make good cocktails and drinks at a fast pace, and DJs play the best tunes. To top it off, our wait staff provide the friendliest service on the street. In ESTB, we mould our staff to understand the business.
What’s the story with the notorious R&K?
R&K stands for Romil and Kamal, my regular patrons from 2006. They are well known for drinking dozens of shots as early as 4pm till late into the night without getting drunk. So they asked if I could create a drink that could knock them out, thus the R&K was born. It became their favourite drink till now.
The R&K is also their company’s rite of initiation for rookies, birthdays, promotions and farewells.
What’s in The R&K?
The R&K comes in four stages.
Stage 1: Gin, Vodka, Rum, Tequila, Cointreau, Kahlua. All 5 ingredients in a martini glass, Sambucca flame in a snifter glass and flamed like waterfall. Blue Curaçao and Baileys as chasers.
Stage 2: Jäger Bomb but with Champagne instead of the energy drink.
Stage 3: Irish Car Bomb – Half Baileys and Irish Whiskey dunked in Stout.
Stage 4: Bacardi 151 and Pernod chilled in a flute glass.
Don’t puke while reading.
Lastly, we heard you throw a mean right hook…
I don’t know where you have heard that from… probably just rumours…