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Movers and shakers: 6 up-and-coming Hong Kong mixologists to know

Meet the young guns of our city's buzzing cocktail scene who are shaking things up in a big way

The days when a gin and tonic was the most complicated cocktail you could order in Hong Kong are long gone. The city’s drinks scene is going from strength to strength and is as good as any in Asia. We meet the new generation of bartenders pushing mixology to the next level.

Meet Hong Kong's rising bar stars

Anthony Edwards, J.Boroski
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Anthony Edwards, J.Boroski

Making great cocktail classics from a limited menu is one thing but J Boroski doesn’t follow ordinary rules. There’re
no menus and the drinks are custom made every time. It takes a special quality of bartender to craft bespoke drinks minute after minute, day after day, but Anthony Edwards is up for the challenge. Handpicked by master mixologist Joseph Boroski for the bar bearing his name, Edwards puts the craft into craft cocktails.

Get to know Anthony...

Age: 23

Born: 
Bodelwyddan, Wales

Been bartending for:
Three years and counting

Describe your bartending philosophy in five words or less: To blow away guest expectations

Favourite spirit to use: Iron Balls Gin or St George Agricole Rum because they have unique flavours and are so versatile

Favourite bar outside of Central: Ophelia, or somewhere quieter like the China Bear in Mui Wo

Favourite secret ingredient to use: Amargo chuncho bitters, Hawaiian red lava salt, Thai pink candy floss and homemade butterfly pea shoot syrup

What’s the one bar you can’t wait to visit: The Pen-y-Bryn, Colwyn Heights, back home for a pint of Snowdonia ale by Purple Moose brewery and a shoulder of Welsh lamb.

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Central
Dorothy Lam, Seafood Room
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Dorothy Lam, Seafood Room

Nominated for the The Ada Coleman Award at this year’s inaugural Hong Kong Bar Awards, triumphant in the 2015 MixLDN Hong Kong and Macau mixology competition and winner of the Best Taste Cocktail award in last year’s Allworld Open Cup – Dorothy Lam already has many accolades to her name. Now heading the bar at Seafood Room, the sky’s the limit for the 26-year-old.

Getting to know Dorothy...

Age: 26 

From: Hong Kong 

Been bartending for: Five years 

Favourite place for a date: Harbourside in Tsim Sha Tsui 

Favourite nonalcoholic drink: Orange juice with a splash of Sprite 

Favourite kind of customer: Not so easy going. Someone more demanding. It’s more fun that way 

Favourite food: Siu mai 

Favourite thing to do outside of work: Sleep

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Causeway Bay
James Barker, 208 Duecento Otto
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James Barker, 208 Duecento Otto

James Barker has come a long way from his origins in Stoke-on-Trent, a stolid industrial town in the middle of England, a world away from the glamorous drinks scene of London. But after stints in the British capital and Kuala Lumpur, he’s come to Hong Kong and had an immediate impact. Now ensconced at 208 Duecento Otto, Barker won the Diageo  Hong Kong & Macau World Class Bartender of the Year competition earlier this year. Here’s hoping he sticks around for the long term. 

Getting to know James...

Age: 26

Born: Stoke-on-Trent, England

Been bartending for: Seven years 

Favourite place for a date in HK: I don’t go on dates...

Favourite places to bring visitors: The nature: Big Wave Bay, the New Territories parks

Favourite bartender in the world: Tony Conigliaro

Favourite base for a cocktail: Bourbon and rye whisky

Favourite guilty pleasure: Malibu

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Sheung Wan
Sarah Rana, Oris Private Club
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Sarah Rana, Oris Private Club

Ranked 31 on this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, Stockton remains the default choice for many when seeking a quality concoction. It would have been easy for Sarah Rana, a protégé of Stockton’s bar manager, Gurung Suraj, to ply her trade there and bask in the reflected glory. But she has boldly struck out on her own at the excellent and newly opened Oris Private Club. If there’re no accolades to her name yet, we predict they won’t be long in coming. 

Getting to know Sarah...

Age: 23 

Born: Pokhara, Nepal

Been bartending for: Five years 

Favourite place for a date in HK: Ocean Park

Favourite restaurant: Blue.Butcher & Meat Specialist

Favourite kind of customer: It depends. If they’re good to me, I’m good to them

Favourite bartending tool: Cocktail shaker

Preferred type of shaking technique: Japanese style 

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Central
Timothy Ching, Bibo
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Timothy Ching, Bibo

It takes a lot to steal attention away from the Takashi Murakami artwork and Invader and Vhils decorated interiors on display at Bibo, but Timothy Ching’s cocktails have done just that. Most famous for his D1 and TT, which won the D1 gin competition last year, Ching’s creations are as stunning as anything on the walls at his establishment.

Getting to know Timothy...

Age:
32 

From: Hong Kong

Been bartending for: 15 years

Favourite guilty pleasure: Tequila shot 

Favourite bartending tool: The ice block saw 

Favourite bar to visit in the future: Dead Rabbit in New York 

Favourite drink to grab from 7-Eleven: A large can of Asahi 

Prediction for the big thing in cocktail trends: Simplicity. Classic cocktails with simple, quality ingredients 

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Sheung Wan
Amanda Wan, The Envoy
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Amanda Wan, The Envoy

Taking the reigns at one of Antonio Lai’s institutions would be daunting for many. After all, Lai’s bars – Quinary, Origin, The Envoy and VEA Lounge – are lauded worldwide. But Amanda Wan isn’t just anybody. The first woman to win the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year Competition, Wan has impeccable credentials and remains a pioneer in our city. 

Getting to know Amanda...

Age: 30

Born: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Been bartending for: Seven years

Favourite bartender: My late mentor, Frankie Anthony

Catchphrase: "It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!"

Favourite guilty pleasure: Double banana peanut butter and Nutella vanilla ice cream soy milkshake with Kahlua coffee foam and cocoa powder topped with salted pretzels. It’s food and a drink!

Favourite food: Nasi lemak. You can’t separate a good Malaysian girl from her national dish! 

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Central

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