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Time Out Bar Awards 2022 nominees: Bartender of the Year

This year’s nominees see talented personalities that made a significant impact in the local bar sector for 2022

Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Tatum Ancheta
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The Time Out Bar Awards 2022 Bartender of the Year nominees spotlight bar professionals who personify what it means to be a bartender. They're one of the reasons we keep coming back to their establishments, and their continued effort in promoting their bars and the Hong Kong bar industry made a significant impact on the industry's thriving cocktail scene. 

Meet the city's most sought-after bartenders.  

The winner will be announced on January 16, 2023, in a live event at Popinjays. Make sure to buy your tickets today so you won't miss out! 

The Bartender of the Year category is presented by Monkey 47

RECOMMENDED: See the full list of this year's nominees. Curious about last year's winners? See the complete list of 2021 Bar Awards winners here.

Devender Sehgal

Beverage manager, The Aubrey

Crowned Best Bartender at Time Out Hong Kong’s 2021 Bar Awards, Devender Sehgal is Mandarin Oriental and The Aubrey's beverage manager. Formerly from 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Devender has brought his expertise to the hotel's drink programme, launching not one but three bar experiences within The Aubrey. This year, he continues his mission to educate people about the wonderful world of shochu – seen in The Aubrey’s recently launched cocktail programme, where guests can travel through taste and explore four Japanese prefectures, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Okinawa, and Kagoshima, known for their distinct shochu offerings. His passion, knowledge, and execution make him the reason we keep returning to the bar.

Ezra Star

Owner, Mostly Harmless

Ezra Star is one of the city's newest and hottest mixologists. Formerly the general manager of Boston's award-winning bar, Drink, Ezra has over 20 years of bartending and hospitality experience under her belt. She moved to the city during the height of the pandemic and first worked behind the stick at The Pontiac, before taking over the space of former SYP izakaya Okra (now a Korean-inspired noodle bar Dam:a from the same team behind Korean restaurant OBP) to open her omakase cocktail bar called Mostly Harmless. In a short span of time, Mostly Harmless became one of the city's most-loved bars because of its fun atmosphere and well-crafted seasonal cocktails spotlighting locally produced ingredients. 

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Gagan Gurung

Bartender and co-founder, Tell Camellia and Barcode

Gagan Gurung is a bar industry veteran who co-founded the tea-inspired cocktail bar, Tell Camellia, and the newly opened cafe-bar concept, Barcode. He is also the group bar beverage director of the F&B group Singular Concepts, the group behind Bianco & Rosso and Zzura. A passionate Hong Kong bar industry advocate, Gagan has been busy going around the city and the region to educate the public about the art of mixology, as seen in his various guest shifts, masterclasses, and industry collaborations. In 2022, he launched a podcast called This is Life! Unfiltered, a talk show that spotlights interesting conversations with the city's bar industry personalities, including professionals from various fields.    

Masahiko Endo

Bartender-in-chief, Mizunara The Library 

One of Hong Kong's most respected bartenders, Masahiko Endo, is the head bartender behind the Japanese whisky bar, Mizunara: The Library. He has worked in the bar industry for over 25 years and has received several national and international cocktail competition awards, including HOFEX Allworld International Classic Cocktail Competition Champion. The past years have been challenging for the Wan Chai bar as back-to-back mandatory bar closures forced their venue to shut its doors, but that did not stop Masahiko from offering the city the best of Mizunara: The Library. He participated in bar and restaurant collaborations and guested for special bar shifts in some of the city's top establishments. He also led a series of masterclasses that taught guests about Japanese spirits and mixology. Under his leadership, Mizunara: The Library was listed as one of only five bars in Hong Kong on Asia's 50 Best Bars 2022 51-100 list. 

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Simone Rossi

Director of bars, DarkSide

Simone Rossi was a runner-up for Bartender of the Year at the 2021 Time Out Hong Kong Bar Awards when he was still DarkSide’s beverage manager. This year, Simone was promoted to Rosewood Hong Kong's director of bars and now leads the overall bar programme of the hotel, including its flagship bar, DarkSide. His efforts are seen in the hotel's bar programmes – including its newly launched sustainable cocktail menu, as well as its conceptual cocktail programme inspired by mahjong – guest bartender shifts (local and abroad), and educational platforms that they've championed throughout the year.    

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