E: What does it take to be a good mixologist?
A: A good mixologist is able to create an enjoyable drink from unexpected ingredients.
E: What is your philosophy when it comes to mixology and crafting cocktails?
A: There cannot be good living where there is not good drinking.
E: What is the craziest thing you’ve seen happen in a bar during the course of your career?
A: With more than a decade of experience behind the bar, I have seen a lot of crazy things. The craziest one was when a group of four gentlemen came and asked for the most expensive whisky, and decided to open bottles of Hibiki 21 and share it with other patrons in the bar, who were strangers to them.
E: Where do you get your inspirations for your cocktails?
A: By reading a lot of cocktail books, browsing the internet, and something as simple as utilising ingredients used in the kitchen to make drinks that complement the food.
E: What’s your most well-known creation, and why?
A: I would say my Jalapeño Kamikaze, because it has the combinations of spicy, sweet and sour.
E: What are three of your favourite cocktails?
A: Maza Tokyo, Devil’s Margarita, Red Sangria.
E: What is a typical day (or night) for you?
A: I usually come to the restaurant earlier than scheduled to prepare for my shift, check my inventory and brief my team. I make sure everyone on the team knows what the target is for the day.
E: What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not manning the bar?
A: I usually do a lot of training for my team and the floor team, so they have a good knowledge of the drinks that we serve. If there’s time, I explore new ideas and inspirations.
E: Name three people, dead or alive, who you would like to create drinks for and have a drink with.
A: Shuzo Nagumo, Alexander Shtifanov, Dino Batista.
E: Any advice for anyone who wants to get into mixology?
A: Challenging yourself every day makes you learn new things about cocktails, like brainstorming about flavours and what spirit would match those flavours, then mixing them together and creating a new drink – it is what being a mixologist is all about.