How long have you been bartending, and how did you first get started?
I’ve been bartending for almost three years. It’s something I’ve always been interested to try and the more time I’ve spent bartending, the more I’ve been falling in love with it.
My friends first introduced me to a few bars where I was inspired to get started on my own journey after speaking to the people who work there, so I just signed up and showed up. I’m currently working at a new bar called Night Hawks, which I helped open in mid-2022.
What do you enjoy most about working in a bar?
For me, it’s all the magical moments of interacting with people and the sense of community that forms within the industry and with the guests who visit us. What’s more, I have a great team and supportive higher-ups who encourage us to travel, meet people, and explore.
It’s been a big year for us since we’ve just opened the new bar, and I’ve already been to three or four countries in the last few months for guest shifts, including Vietnam most recently for a competition, which have been fantastic! I’m lucky because opportunities like these are rare, especially for younger bartenders like me.
In your opinion, what’s the best and worst drink?
My favourite drink is whatever is free (laughs). Jokes aside, I’ll go for any drink since it’s part of my job to try everything. But if I were to choose just one, it’d probably be something with tequila or rum. I also really like to work with sweet fruity flavours like peach.
My least favourite would have to be baijiu (Chinese liquor). I’ve tried it a few times and it tastes like vomit.
What do you like to do on your days off?
Besides the obvious—drinking, I really enjoy music and the arts. I have some friends in local bands like Subsonic Eye and Curb, so I like to go for their gigs whenever I can.
Other than that, I want to get back into digital painting as well, which I used to do a lot of during COVID-19. I graduated from an art school, where I majored in sculpting, and I used to work as a props maker with Universal, so art is something that will always be near and dear to me.
There’s still a huge creative element to what I do now as a bartender, but once in a while, I feel like it’ll be fun to chill for a week and just paint, you know? But I’m not complaining (laughs).
Is there a dream place you’d love to work in?
Singapore is great, but there are already so many good bars here, so I hope to move out of the country to work for a bit or even open my own bar one day.
Right now, a prime candidate is Tainan, Taiwan. It’s an old city with lots of old buildings that young creatives are now starting to renovate and fix up in really cool ways.
I’m still looking for more opportunities as I travel; I’d love to check out Berlin too since I’ve haven’t been to Europe.
You mentioned that you also love coffee, what’s your favourite coffee spot?
Double Up Coffee. I may be biased because it’s owned by a good friend of mine, but their drinks are really good! If you don’t like coffee, they also have kombuchas and other non-coffee beverages.
When they first opened, they had a spicy jalapeño orange drink called The Flaming Toyota—I loved it eh, it was so fun! They even made a sticker of a flaming Toyota to go along with it (laughs).
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