Cover illustration: Mark Reihill
Can we take a moment to talk about the bar scene in Asia? Well, more than a moment actually – we’ve devoted the whole of our new issue to it. When you consider that Asia is the most populous continent, covering a whopping 44.48 million km2, our tiny gesture hardly does the region justice.
‘Antz’ drinks serve at Native, Singapore
There’s a reason why an increasing number of the world’s greatest bartenders are packing up and heading over to this part of the world. It’s young, it’s fresh, it’s vibrant and the weather takes some beating, plus and it’s a big plus, there’s investment. And the potential for huge growth. As Chris Lowder, drinks guru and all-round top bloke now based in Shanghai says, “If each of China’s adult population were to purchase just one 70ml bottle of spirit each, it would be 33 times Beefeater Gin’s global sales this year.” And as we all know, Beefeater ain’t small fry.
Asia Unwrapped, from top:Baiju from China, Arack from Indonesia and Baiju from Hong Kong. Photographs: Rob Lawson
With the insider knowledge of bartenders, brand ambassadors, drinks consultants and writers Lorenzo Antorino, Ondrej Pospichal, Chris Lowder, Micaela Piccolo, Natalie Compton and Lena Leo, The Asia Issue of The Cocktail Lovers Magazine unwraps the people to know, places to go and of course, what to drink in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Tokyo, Bali, the Philippines, Seoul and Thailand.
That’s the stuff you need to know if you’re planning a visit. For those who want to dig deeper into exactly how Asia has become a force to be reckoned with on the drinks front there’s plenty to get your teeth into. Pivotal to its growth and success are Proof & Company in their role as curators and sellers of top notch spirits, with a merry band of evangelists spreading the joy of fine drinking across Asia. David Cordoba settles In The Hotseat to talk about how he made the transition from travelling the world as Bacardí Global Ambassador to its Portfolio Director, while Theo Watt talks about how he’s documented the movers and shakers in Asia over the last 10 years in DRiNK Magazine.
It’s not all cocktails – local beers, illustrated by Katie Johnson
While much is made of the big names who have made the move from the US, UK and Australia to set up bar in Asia, Jane Ryan shines a light on the local rock stars who are doing their regions proud. That’s on the modern side of things, in the traditional corner, we have Matsata Sukarai from Tokyo who extols the virtues of studying under a master bartender.
There’s lots more where that lot came from, including International Bartender of the Year Shingo Gokan, talking about his latest venture, Sober Company in Shanghai; our picks of the best new Asian-inspired bar kit; a new column from Joe Schofield from Tippling Club in Singapore, recently voted Best International Restaurant Bar at the Spirited Awards at Tales of the Cocktail, and highlights from this year’s Chivas Masters in Tokyo.
Subscribers in the UK will receive their copies in the next couple of days; if you’re in Europe or the rest of the world, look out for yours next week. Want in? You should do! Sign up for your annual subscription here. Remember, you only pay for postage and packaging.