Malaysian bartender Raz Ng is ranked among the Top 25 bartenders internationally!
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Although Raz started her bartending journey just 2 years ago in 2019, she has already grown quickly in her skills, as proven by her recent win placing in the Top 10 locally and Top 25 internationally in the #HennessyMyWay 30-Seconds Challenge.
Her unique cocktail, called Thyme Waits For No Pear, infuses sweet notes of pear and thyme into a Hennesy spirit base.
Her first foray into professional bartending at the age of 23 was with Arsenio ‘Ash’ Mariano Jr, an icon in the bartending industry. She worked under him as his protégé at Sakura Den in Kuala Lumpur for 6 months, studying the ingredients and drinks that go into a delicious cocktail.
Later on, she was taken under the wing of another mentor, Japanese master bartender Osamu ‘Sam’ Kinugawa. He has a different bartending style, focusing on the details of each individual drink and guest in classic Japanese fashion.
Experience Trumps All
However, if you’re looking to go professional, bartending is all about experience and practical creation of drinks, says Raz. It may not have many academic requirements, but the job requires creativity, quick thinking, and passion.
For a glass of cocktail, you need the right components with well-balanced content and skillful techniques to make one great drink. The same philosophy can be applied to life.Raz Ng to TRP
She originally had doubts about her own lack of paper qualifications, but then quickly learned that nothing can replace actual exprience and passion for bartending.
When you make a great beverage, it can make someone’s day greater. The reason being is that you don’t just serve people drinks but you give them a story to remember through the drinks that you create.Raz Ng to TRP
Hennessy aims to further encourage such drive for bartending with the HennessyMyWay global initiative, which serves to give back to the bartending community especially for the many affected by the pandemic.
Raz Ng was one of the Top 10 Malaysian bartenders in the #HennessyMyWay 30-Second-Challenge, and then judged as being among the Top 25 global bartenders against contenders from Australia, Canada, France, UK, and others.
Her creative cocktail landed her a 500 Euro cash prize and an exclusive chance to further her bartending skills at the Hennessy Cocktails and Mixology Masterclass with Hennessy’s Global Ambassador, Jordan Buschell.
Pre-pear Your Own Cocktail At Home
While Raz paired her drink with pear and thyme flavours, she notes that the possibilities are endless. Since Hennessy is a versatile base spirit, you can add almost anything to it for a wonderful drink. Those keen to try their hand at mixing their own drinks can actually start experimenting with relatively easy drinks such as the Cognac Julep.
The Cognac Julep does not require other liquers or bitters, and the minty drink will be a refreshing one that elevates the oaky rancio notes of the cognac.
Another easy drink is the Cognac Sour, which can be easily mixed in a protein shaker if you do not have a cocktail shaker.
Regardless if you want to try classic drinks or add special twists of your own, Raz notes that Hennessy cognacs make a great base due to the well-rounded and versatile taste profile.
Young And Flirty- With Your Drinks
Raz has also observed that younger Malaysians are often more keen to try trendy new drinks and are developing a more matured palate for cocktails. Some regular customers take particular interest in the bartending process, and will bring special and unique ingredients for bartenders to create a special cocktail.
For newbies or those new to the cocktail scene, Raz introduces the Jungle Bird, likening it as the national cocktail- kind of like a ‘Nasi Lemak’ of the Malaysian cocktail scene. The fruity sweet drink is definitely a pleaser that would open the doors for Malaysians to try other drinks.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.