The high-spirited that get us high on spirits

Bartenders—the unspoken therapists and apothecarists that walk among us. Fueled by an overflowing passion for a good mix, these men and women are the playmakers of the night. In this video, we visit some of the top bars in Singapore, and got seven acclaimed local mixologists to share their philosophies when it comes to perfecting a drink. 


 

Boo Jing Heng—Tess Bar
 

“During the creative process of bartending, you’ll find dozens of great flavours that blend well. It can be very tempting to build a five-flavour cocktail because all the flavours are so enjoyable, but I abide by a firm rule: compliment and not confuse. When learning to mix, understanding its philosophy and studying the underlying thought processes are just as important as learning the right mixing techniques.”
 

Edwin Tan—The Monarchy
 

“My personal belief is that a good drink can only be made when you truly understand the needs of a customer and this can only be achieved through the rapport you build with them. To be honest, it is only after many years in the F&B industry that I realised that it's all about the customers, and creating a memory for them rather than just serving them a drink.”
 

Alvin Yew—Rogue Trader
 

“I think it’s important to let the ingredients or the spirits speak for themselves, but adding a little bit of a unique twist is the best way to create an impactful cocktail. Take for example, the classic margarita that’s known to comprise three main ingredients; tequila, lemon and Cointreau. I like making it slightly different by substituting the Cointreau with a homemade black lime reduction and also adding in a roasted Ivy gourd. This, to me, gives the margarita a uniquely complex taste with pepperish notes and also a bitter yet refreshing finish.”
 

Fadly Sujebto—Cin Cin
 

“Creativity has no limits.”
 

Jayden Ong—Nutmeg & Clove
 

“Always cater to the taste of the customer. Find out what they like in terms of flavours and strength of the cocktail, and design a drink according to their likes and dislikes. Introduce one or two interesting ingredients to them if possible to make the drinking experience fun.”
 

Jerrold Khoo—Jigger & Pony
 

“My philosophy is based on 'The Holy Trinity', which is to stick to three ingredients or flavours. When crafting cocktails, always bear in mind to respect the ingredients and base spirits. Lastly, incorporate good techniques—God is in the details. With all these in mind, I let the spirit shine.”
 

Diaz Lim—Martini Bar
 

“The art of mixology for me lies in the story behind every martini. Garnishes are crafted with stories inspired by daily connections between people, including kids, to create signature martinis, such as the gummy candy-inspired Gummybear Martini and the Espresso Martini, which was born out of tipplers looking for a drink to start, and prolong, their night out.”