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ViuTV's Master Mixologist
Photograph: Courtesy Cecilia Wong

ViuTV presents Hong Kong’s first cocktail competition show Master Mixologist

Just like other reality shows, there’s sweat, tears, intrigue, and plenty of drama caught on camera. Who amongst the local bartenders do you think will reign supreme?

Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Tatum Ancheta

Hong Kong consistently earns top spots on Asia’s and the world’s prestigious lists for its excellent bars. But how much do we really know about our local bartenders and the talents behind Hong Kong’s world of mixology? We’ve seen various reality TV shows about chefs, but until Netflix’s Drink Masters debuted in 2022, bartending competitions were mostly seen only within the industry. Bartenders would compete in national competitions for Diageo’s World Class and Bacardi Legacy before moving on to regional and global stages. Now, Hong Kong TV channel ViuTV aims to educate local audiences and shine a spotlight on the city’s talented bartenders with its newly launched reality show, Master Mixologist.

Check out the snippet below:

The contestants include 32 bartenders, some with professional backgrounds and some who are simply passionate about the craft and eager to try their hand at mixing behind the stick for your nightly enjoyment. These contenders will compete in a one-hour show to showcase their cocktail-making skills, coupled with their talent for storytelling about the drinks they create. Just like other reality shows, there’s sweat, tears, intrigue, and plenty of drama caught on camera. Fans of award-winning bars like Quinary and Coa will recognise familiar faces such as award-winning mixologists Antonio Lai and Jay Khan, who will serve as judges for the TV show. They are joined by whisky and wine columnist Cecilia Wong, who is also the host of ViuTV’s weekly wine and spirits talk show, Night Talk – Chit Chat Drink. “When we held the audition, our criteria were to give the green light to contestants who made great cocktails and showed passion. It didn’t matter whether they were currently working at bars or not,” says Wong. “We have contestants with over 10 years of experience in the bar industry and some with no experience at all. We have mixologists, bar owners, home bartenders, and even a distillery owner.” According to Wong, there will be numerous female contestants, showcasing the increasing presence of women in the bar industry. 

The cast of ViuTV's Master Mixologist
Photograph: Courtesy Cecilia WongThe cast of ViuTV's Master Mixologist

With this TV format, the show may reach a broader audience, sharing more knowledge about the art and craft of mixology. Wong mentions that the show will feature various types of cocktails, with bartenders incorporating Hong Kong flavours in their drinks – for instance, a Bloody Mary twist inspired by hotpot. This exposure may expand the public’s knowledge and change how they perceive cocktails. 

“I hope Master Mixologist will pique the audience’s interest, encouraging them to explore craft cocktails and visit cocktail bars more frequently,” states Wong. “Some individuals might frequent standard bars and not realise the existence of artisanal cocktail bars. This show presents a fantastic opportunity to showcase our city’s lively bar scene to a broader audience,” she adds. 

Master Mixologist is hosted by Alton Yue and Florica Lin and airs at ViuTV from Monday to Friday, starting June 10 at 9.30pm, and will run for 10 episodes.  

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