Cover Tracia at Dissolved Solids (Photo: Tracia Chan)

These are the names to know if you're out hunting for a mean cocktail

Bartending and cocktail crafting are an art. What looks like a simple mix and stir of liqueurs and juices is actually a form of chemistry that takes time and patience to master. On the occasion of World Bartender Day (February 24), we have listed down eight mixologists to know in Kuala Lumpur.

See also: CK Kho, Founder Of Coley And Pahit, On Why Virtual Drinking Trends Won’t Last

1. Joel Poon of Reka Bar

As one of the bartenders at the post-modern flavour lab Reka Bar, Poon designs some of the most unconventional and well-balanced cocktails this city has to offer. 

"My motto is live well, laugh often, love much," he quips. 

Signature Cocktail

When asked about this, Poon just says: "The next drink I’ll be making for you!" Still, we have a soft spot for his Malay-Sian Rose, which is seasonal. 

See also: Royal Selangor Helps You Master The Art Of Mixology

2. M.I. Rony of Canvass

Canvass' chief mixologist is also a master at incorporating pickles, fermentations, kombuchas, and kefirs into his drinks.

"As a bartender dusting off two hard chaotic years of a pandemic and seeing a world that is inching towards an endemic normality, I look forward to an even stronger commitment from all of us bartenders to work creatively as true hosts and artisans to our guests and community," Rony says.

Signature Cocktail

Brown Butter Old Fashioned, a dark, spiced rum that has been infused with brown butter for 72 hours. Instead of throwing it away, the same butter is used to make a cookie.

See also: Canvass Bistro & Bar On Pushing For Sustainability In Malaysia


3. Ganesh Rajaratnam of BAC

Ganesh has been creating cocktails at BAC and making waves with his imaginative concoctions. 

"I look forward to the return of more bartending guest shifts (local and abroad) and events, he says, after a prolonged period of being unable to operate. "Meeting old friends and making new ones is what I've missed so much these past couple of years."

Signature Cocktail

The Corpse Reviver No. 2, a gin classic embellished with a few dashes of absinthe creating a flavour that Ganesh believes is sure to "take people by surprise."

See also: 9 Hollywood Celebrities Who Have Their Own Tequila Brands

4. Tracia Chan of Dissolved Solids

Chan, surprisingly enough, is not a fan of alcohol. Nevertheless, when she whips up a cocktail, you are guaranteed to become her fan. Her ingenious combinations of flavour profiles are representative of Dissolved Solids' creative flair.

When asked what she is excited for this year, Tracia says: "Definitely looking forward for the industry to pick up as well as everyone creating something new and exciting to push our food and beverage scene."

Signature Cocktail

Tracia has a penchant for her off-menu creations, which are all customised to fit each individual's palates and preferences. In particular, her brightly-coloured signature drink which contains certain unexpected ingredients such as curry leaf, timur berries and pink peppercorns. 

5. Karl Too of Happy Stan

Too wears many hats at Happy Stan: co-owner, creative director, and master bartender. He was one of the founders of (now defunct) Omakase + Appreciate, which made it to the Asia's 50 Best Bars list in 2016.

Signature Cocktail

As someone who loves to incorporate coffee in his cocktails, Too's signature is Stan's Coffee Negroni, a caffeinated yet refreshing combination of Porter’s Modern Classic gin, Cacao Campari, Cucielo Rosso vermouth, and VCR's Brazil Cold Brew.

See also: The Bar Hop: Happy Stan By Karl Too & VCR

6. David Hans of Three X Co.

Hans heads Three X Co., which was featured in Asia's 50 Best Bars 2021 and World's Top 500 Bars 2020. He joined Three X Co. after winning The Giffard West Cup 2017 International in France.

Signature Cocktail

Balik Pulau, which is made of milk and infused with nutmeg, but amazingly the drink is completely clear. 

See also: 3 Malaysian Bars Are Among Asia's 50 Best Bars 2021

7. Darwin Ng of Jann

At Jann, you'll find Ng exercising his creativity, transforming even classic cocktails into something new and fresh.

Signature Cocktail

KopiO, a twist on an espresso tonic using local coffee with whisky and fat-washed with Planta margarine! 


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