Din Hassan & 2005 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Jenny Adams

For Din Hassan, decades of bartending couldn’t prepare him for 2005––the year when he’d welcome his first child into the world and at the same time, watch his city’s industry begin to truly blossom. For Cherry Heering, he was an obvious man to seek out. A gifted bartender. An acclaimed force in the industry. A featured talent in Singapore, a city breaking barriers for cocktails on a global scale.

Din Hassan works at Cé La Vi – a multi-level, fine-dining operation perched above the glittering city, atop the Marina Bay Sands Tower 3.

His of 2005 was in multiple ways about birth. It was both literal and figurative for him … the start of new life in his own home with the birth of his son and a time of great excitement in his city, where cocktails were concerned.

“It was the year my first child was born,” he offers. “During that time, Singapore was also still newto cocktails. When you have a first kid,” he says, warmly, “you need to work harder and sleep less, and you need to learn as much as you can.”

The same could cheekily be said for bartending in a city where cocktails are seeing an explosion and guests are eager for education.

Today, Singapore is one of the world’s leading stages for cocktail and bar creation, with incredible venues like New York’s famed Employees Only opening there in 2017, the gin-focused Atlas landing at No. 15 on the 50 Best Bar awards held in London that same year and 28 Hong Kong receiving the spot at No. 25 in the world, as well.

Of the key players in Singapore over 12 years since 2005, Din Hassan has earned a coveted spot at the proverbial table of the city’s star ‘tenders. He cut his teeth through the ‘90s, working in the city’s then-illustrious landscape for nightclubs, before modern craft mixology had even come into focus in America. In 2005, he left a post as operations manager at Cocco Latte to open Oyster Bar, followed quickly by joining Klee as the house mixologist. This would be one of the first menus utilizing Southeast Asia’s incredible, fresh fruit, directly in drinks.

His career would take him on to work at White Rabbit, Bar Stories, Fullerton Bay Hotel, Lucha Loco, Bitters & Love, as well as Manor Bar & Cocktail Room, to name a few.

Experimental, playful, moored in local flavors––be it citrus or herbs esoteric to the western palate but common to a Chinese pharmacy––Hassan brings a pop of color and fresh approaches to drink design. For example, you’ll find a classic Singapore Sling on his menu at Cé La Vie, to honor the city’s history. However, he also offers a fun, frozen take on it for the hot days of summer, complementing the setting of the outdoor rooftop.

“Like a lady, when you have a nice dress, that’s the color of your drink,” he muses on how he creates new cocktails. “Then you garnish the drink­­––put some makeup on––and the last zest with citrus is like the perfume. That’s my philosophy of making drinks. At Cé La Vie we plan to focus more on local flavor in cocktails and to work closely with our chef and pastry chef, giving guests a more interactive cocktail,” he says.

For this project, he wanted something creative but showcasing iconic Singapore flavors. He wanted something to represent a memory of all those years ago in 2005, when he was experiencing the joys and the trying nights of new fatherhood. He wanted something that also represented his memories of a city on the cusp of becoming one of the world’s best for having a cocktail.

His drink is named “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” and it begins with 20ml of Cherry Heering and 30ml of Tanqueray No. 10 gin. He adds five sprigs of fresh Asian Coriander leaf, a helping of fresh lemon juice, a little simple syrup and 20ml of egg white. He then shakes it, followed by a reverse dry shake. It’s served in a coupe, garnished playfully with a Cé La Vie chocolate chip cookie. It’s a first example of the pastry team’s new crossover into the bar’s cocktails.

“I am very lucky to still work in this industry after over 25 years,” Din Hassan says. “meeting new friends and getting to travel around the world.” Yet, home is home. He can easily wax poetic about all the great places that have risen in his city of Singapore over his own tenure.

“At Native, they only use Asian herbs and spirits that you can get in Singapore. They serve ants in one cocktail. Manhattan Bar, voted 7thbest in the world, has a few barrel-aged in the venue, as well as great hospitality. Operation Dagger is in a secret location and all their drinks are distilled in-house, and Atlas has 1,000 gins from all over the world and still counting.

As for Cherry Heering, he says, it’s not just about the brand or the grand competitions he’s helped to host. “We’ve built a family with all the bartenders involved from around the world.”

2 out of 3 Ain’t Bad
20ml Cherry Heering
30ml Tanqueray no.Ten
5 Coriander Leaf
30ml Fresh Lemon Juice
10ml Simple Syrup
20ml Egg White
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain back into shaker. Dry shake (without ice) and fine strain into a chilled glass
Glassware:  Coupe
Garnish: Celavi Chocolate Chip

Ms Franky Marshall & 1925 – One o Heering´s 200 year

Words By: Hayden Wood

Born in upstate New York, Ms. Franky has taken Gotham’s bar scene by storm in her own inimitable style. As part of the team who opened iconic New York institutions The Dead Rabbit & Clover Club, she now heads up the iconic Marie Antoinette-inspired Brooklyn cocktail den Le Boudoir while continuing to educate, inspire and champion heritage brands like Cherry Heering.

From any of the 200 romantic years of Cherry Heering’s story, Ms. Franky chose 1925, when Paris was swinging. “The 1920’s in Paris are known as Les Annees Folles. Or living in the crazy years. So, I chose 1925 midway in between. I was trying to think of that kind of era where it was kind of after World War 1 … and we are talking about Paris, so this time with Paris, when a lot of expats went over there. So again, post World War 1 and just as Prohibition was starting in the US, we had a lot of bartenders and a lot of creative artists moving and kind of hanging out over there, going to cafes all day, going to night clubs at night. Somehow always being productive as well.”

“We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.” Ernest Hemmingway

“Attending saloons, exchanging ideas, yeah, it just seems like a really care-free time although a lot of those artists were starving but somehow they managed drink and eat and just and produce great art.” “It was a period of maybe 10 years when it was just that kind of a fun, free for all, where they didn’t have to worry about too much. Also, around that time we had American women finally getting the right to vote. So there was just a celebration of forgetting about the bad things of the previous decade and just living this kind of hedonistic, free-spirited lifestyle. That’s why they are known as the crazy years!”

“I’m a singer as well. And I used to perform a lot and … so that all appeals to me, that kind of artists or musicians just being able to live in a time when they just didn’t really have many cares as the New York today, where there’s so many things to worry about.”

Ms. Franky is fluent in French and is a Bureau National Interprofessional du Cognac (BNIC) accredited educator and trainer. A keen traveller, she is inspired by international food, drink and cultural experiences which she brings to life in her own decadently stylish corner of the drinks industry – an industry that she sees as getting more complicated by the day.

“I’ve done a couple of talks on the role of the modern bartender, the way we’ve gone from physically making drinks to having to create cocktails, do interviews, write answers in full sentences, learn Excel and Photoshop etc. I spend so much time making drink photos look great, balancing books and learning everything I can just to be more aware, more responsible and up to date. There’s just so much more that goes into a modern bartender’s role.”

Ms. Franky makes a romantic ‘roaring twenties’ claim that if she had a magic wand she’d make sure that people’s talents weren’t being judged on the amounts of likes they get or the amount of followers they have on social media. A good claim but none-the-less a tough one to persuasively maintain in this day and age.

“It’s just things have changed so much and a lot of it is great. A lot of it is really wonderful. The whole immediate exchange of ideas and that kind of thing.” “It can be all about the likes and the followers. They may have 5000 friends on Facebook but there are certain people who are just really great at what they do and don’t have that because they don’t want to play that game and I think it’s unfair that they are penalised for not taking part.”

“I don’t know how we’d fix that. But it’s just kind of endemic in culture in general as you can see in politics as well.”

“I just think it’s a little bit unfortunate that we just don’t seem to have a lot time to do a lot of research. It’s just kind of looking at social media with one eye and saying, “Are they popular? Great, we’ll go after that one.” 

Re-discovering heritage brands is a joy for many bartenders and Ms. Franky is no exception. “It seems like it’s always one of those bottles that was just always there and I didn’t know what it was or what to do with it. But I distinctly remember always seeing this Cherry Heering around. A few years ago they started a campaign with Coffee Heering and that kind of brought the whole Heering brand back in front view. It’s just kind of one of those iconic liqueurs that was always there on the back bar, or sometimes buried somewhere else but it was always kind of there, which I think says a lot.”

A responsible leader, a relationship builder and just straight up honest, Ms. Franky is one of those instantly connective people who’ll tell you like it is, serve it like it was meant to be served and always has room on her Facebook page for a new friend.

 

MS. FRANKY MARSHALL’S LES ANNÉES FOLLES

.75 oz Cherry Heering

.25 oz Dark Crème de Cacao (Such as Tempus Fugit Cacao à la Vanille)

1 oz VS Cognac (Such as Cognac Park Carte Blanche)

1 dash Angostura Bitters

Top with 1.5 oz of Dry Sparkling Wine (Such as Champagne)

 

Method: Stir first 4 ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Top with champagne and briefly stir to integrate

 

Garnish: Lemon  zest twist

Glass: Chalice or cocktail glass

Diego Carbrera & 1969 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Theodora Sutcliffe

“The year I am selecting is 1969. Why? Because this is the year that the world changed,” explains Diego Cabrera, Madrid’s most celebrated bartender, owner of Salmon Guru and author ofCocteles sin Coctelera [Cocktails Without a Cocktail Shaker]. “Neil Armstrong went to the moon, Led Zeppelin released their first album, the Beatles held their last live performance and Concorde took its first test flight.”

For Cabrera, the Woodstock festival, the Stonewall Riots and intensifying demonstrations against the war in Vietnam mark a point where the revolution that shaped modern society reached critical mass. To commemorate this year of highs and lows, he serves his anniversary cocktail in a hip flask. “That way you can refill wherever you want and continue your trip around this emotional year of 1969,” he notes. “There were concerts, demonstrations, everything – this way you can enjoy it wherever you want.”

Channelling Bryan Adams, Cabrera calls his drink the Summer of 69. At the heart of the mix is the timeless pairing of Cherry Heering and citrus. Moonshine, long illegal, provides a rebellious core, while chilli adds literal and symbolic spice.

Growing up in Buenos Aires, classic liqueurs were thin on the ground. “When I was a child, we literally attacked my father’s minibar and drank lots of liquor!” Cabrera recalls. “When my father arrived, we were (obviously!) a bit drunk, and he was pretty angry. But I always remember that he was not as upset as he could have been as we did not drink two of his prized bottles, both gifts – one of them being Heering. I always remembered that bottle that I knew I was not allowed to drink.”

Like so many others, Cabrera fell into bartending thanks to his desire to travel. He worked in cocktail bars while studying Foreign Trade, then headed off on a working holiday. “I took a year off in 2000 and my knowledge helped me to work anywhere and continue travelling,” he laughs. “I am 18 years travelling now!”

After working his way around Spain, Cabrera landed at Barcelona’s luxurious Hotel Arts, working alongside the celebrity chef Sergi Arola. In 2008, he opened the bar for Arola’s Michelin two-star restaurant, Sergi Arola Gastro; in 2010, with Arola’s help, he launched his revolutionary gastro-cocktail bar Le Cabrera. In 2013, the year Gastro shuttered, Cabrera departed his namesake bar after what he describes as “societal problems and philosophical differences”: it’s now closed.

Besides Salmon Guru, the neon-bright artisan cocktail space he opened with two partners in 2016, and an upcoming project, of which more later, Cabrera remains impressively busy. He promotes cocktail culture on the La Sala radio show and Bon Viveur website; he presents at events from Tales of the Cocktail to the Lisbon Bar Show and judges cocktail competitions. Yet he still manages to get back to Buenos Aires, which he’d place in the world’s top five cities for cocktails, regularly.

Cabrera’s passion, however, lies less in travel than in his own places. “Salmon Guru is more the Diego Cabrera philosophy: it is more authentic and eclectic with super crazy decorations – comics, neons, etcetera – and a big mix of music that I pair for certain times of the day or night,” he notes. “It has a lot of personality – it’s an extension of all of the creativity that is going on in my head! It is a very friendly bar that attracts customers from all over the world.”

Despite his enthusiasm for the 60s, Cabrera feels the era we are living in now is the best age for cocktails the world has ever known, thanks to the (largely) seamless local and international flow of knowledge the internet enables. “We have different styles in different countries but the most important thing is that we can share the information,” he amplifies. “In Spain we love to create new cocktails using kitchen techniques. It is very visual with incredible results.”

Yet he also feels bartenders need to be aware of the impact of their work on society in general and on individual lives. “Our job is very important: we work with a drug. It is critical to know how it affects people,” Cabrera notes. “We need a good association that guarantees our work, like they have in other industries. It’s not just about sharing cocktail recipes.”

Right now, however, Cabrera’s focus is on his own bars, which he has ambitions to expand internationally. “We will open a new place soon, near Salmon Guru but with a different cocktail concept: classic, with vintage products and look and feel,” he explains. “It’s a very special place from 1856 in the heart of Madrid.” Clearly, for all his love of revolutions, Cabrera’s philosophy has classicism at its core: not just in cocktails, but in buildings, too.

Summer of 69 cocktail
5 cl moonshine

8-10 leaves fresh mint and ¼ spicy chilli.
2 cl Peter Heering cherry
2 cl fresh orange juice
3 cl flesh lemon juice
2 cl simple sirup

Metod: Mush the chilli and mint with the moonshine in a base of shaker without ice. Add  rest of the ingredients, ice and shake ans strain into flask

Glass:Served double strained in a hip flask.

Ezra Star & 1821 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Jenny Adams

If you travel to Drink in Boston on a Saturday, you will very likely wait in a line to get in the door. A force to be reckoned with in this industry, a leader and a winner of countless accolades, the small, sparse space is home to some of America’s best talent. Cherry Herring went knocking and what resulted was General Manager and Bartender Ezra Star’s ode to 1821.

In 2010, Ezra Star was studying to become a doctor. She had a background in biochemistry, but it was a gig as a barback that would turn her focus to the bar industry. Originally from Venezuela, you’ll now find her at Drink, where she’s held a management position for years and has helped to make this spot one of the most respected places for a cocktail in the nation. Her year of choice was 1821, and she pays homage to the Battle of Carabobo.

“The battle of Carabobo was the pivotal moment,” says Star, who grew up in Venezuela before moving stateside. “Just as the Tea Party in Boston (which happened down the street from Drink) led to the American Revolution, the battle of Carabobo was the defining moment in Venezuelan history. The battle was fought with Simon Bolivar (the patron saint of Venezuela) in command of rebel troops against the Royalist Spanish army. It was his second attempt at defeating them on this battle ground. It was a very challenging battle and the first true victory for the independence forces.”

Looking at Boston bar scene in the same decade, the view was, “surprisingly similar to Venezuela,” Star continues. “There was a tremendous amount of sherry being imported by the Spanish, as well as rum. New England was one of the largest rum producers in the world, as was Venezuela.”

For her drink, she focused on flavors that would have been easily accessible and beloved in her home country at the time of the Battle of Carabobo. Sherry would symbolize the Spanish influence. Rum would represent the demand for it during the war.

“Orange, also, because Spain was a huge center for orange production and export,” she says. “Angostura, because it was created by General Simon Bolivar’s physician during the war. And, of course, Cherry Heering for its dark cherry and cocoa flavors, which are similar to many fruits native to Venezuela. One of the first times I ever tasted Cherry Heering on its own, I was doing my weekly blind tasting of spirits in our bar. I had a cold at the time and couldn’t really smell. I took a sip of Cherry Heering not knowing what it was and was blown away because it was one of the few spirits I could taste, despite my cold. I had one of bartenders add hot water and some scotch and had an incredible toddy.”

Her Battle of Carabobo cocktail is a stirred tipple, strained over a single piece of ice in an Old Fashioned glass with an orange twist. The base is Santa Theresa 1794 rum with a half-ounce of Palo Cortado sherry. She adds a further equal measure of Cherry Heering and also of Cinzano sweet vermouth. Two dashes of Angostura bitters gives a balancing, beautiful finish.

“I wanted to produce a cocktail that reminded me of home,” she adds. “When many people think of Venezuela, they think of bright tropical fruits But, it is also the home of dark rich flavors such as chocolate, coffee.”

For Star, the 1821 battle was a worthy year to commemorate her home country and to explore the similar occurrences in her current town of Boston, but she’s far from solely tied to this time or to these places. If given the choice, she’s time travel to work in Paris, just after WWII.

“I would love to work in some of the old hotel bars of that era and watch as they rebuilt. I would also have loved to meet some of the incredible directors and writers of the era,” she offers. And as to her drink style at Drink––it’s an ever-evolving global approach, with a focus that’s laser-sharp and possibly born from her former foray into chemistry and medical science.

“I tend to pull from everywhere,” she says. “A large inspiration for me are sushi chefs. I attempt to emulate their exacting, clean style when making my drinks. I want every movement I make to be for a reason. I also look a lot towards southern France and Morocco for inspiration. I am obsessed with the blending of spices fruit when making drinks. Historically a lot of my cocktail style comes from flavor combinations in South America in the 1950’s, when there were still very few large production influences on food and culture requiring everything to be made by hand.”

The battle of Carabobo Cocktail

45ml / 1.5 oz Santa Theresa 1794 rum

15ml / .5 oz Palo cortado sherry

15ml / .5 oz Cherry Herring

15ml / .5 oz Cinzano Sweet vermout

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Glass: Old Fashion

Garnish:  Orange zest twist.

Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain  into a glass over a large cube of ice.

 

 

Rhys Wilson & 1863 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Ashley Pini

Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, in 1985 by a single mother Rhys explained: “My mother, along with my older brother Luke are by far my greatest influences from my younger years. My parents split when I was five, and we always said no matter what it will always be the three of us.”

 Rhys has fond memories of his upbringing. “Sydney is an incredible place to grow up; it has the outdoor lifestyle, and a relaxed mentality combined with all the perks of a large and beautiful metropolitan city.”

 Of travelling as a family throughout his younger years, Rhys said “this has shaped who I am today, and what I do. I have lived in five different countries, including Spain, Indonesia, Scotland, and England. And this year will bring a sixth.”

 The other element of his childhood that Rhys credits to influencing the man he is today is performing. Starting out on the stage when he was 14, Rhys went on to study Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong. It was here that he landed his first job as a bartender at the Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney.

 He soon realised “my talents were not best served pursuing two different industries, but instead harnessing the aspects that both of them shared. I recognised that the stage I would best serve my audience was on the stage of some of the best bars in the world.”

 Today, Rhys is hugely grateful for his career: “I love so many aspects of my job; managing a team, running a business, developing and supporting talent, taking care of guests, seeing them enjoy what we create, and catering for them.”

 “Above all I still love the show. I love when it gets to 5pm, I get dressed up, dim the lights, put on some music, take a station, and be a part of the performance,” he added.

 Rhys’s passion for his job is clear “We treat the bar like our house, and everyone is our best mate coming around. We want them to feel comfortable, and drink something delicious.”

 He continued “Within the bar, it’s my job to maintain that atmosphere every day. On top of this, we don’t want to ever be complacent with success, but rather keep pushing boundaries, and ourselves to keep striving for better, both inside the bar, and within the global industry.”

 Throughout his extensive career, Rhys has had many mentors: “To me, a perfect mentor or influence is someone who inspires you, but at the same time guides you to be yourself and create your own path to your goals.”

 Rhys continued “A bar to me is about escapism, so I always want the conversation topic to be light and relaxing, nothing too intense. I want to talk about how many kms you ran today, why you have a tattoo of a snowman, which awesome drink you had or how lucky we are to have access to interesting ingredients. I believe we can have intelligent conversations, whilst keeping it fun.”

 Of his bar, Rhys commented “We try to always keep a balanced menu, and being quite classic in style allows us to recreate drinks from our past as well, so we always have plenty to draw on to get our guest their perfect drink.”

 “We of course have our hero cocktails like Tokyo Collins, Perfect Storm, and Jerezana, and Gin is still as popular as ever amongst consumers. Our international clientele are from the US which leads us over to the American Whiskey shelf, but I have also noticed the continual rise of agave spirits, and we are always looking for unique ways to showcase them, making them accessible to first time drinkers.”

 “A big part of Happiness’ success is the support of regulars and locals, and we forever have people coming back to drink drinks that were on our menu years, and years ago.”

 Rhys chose the year 1863 for his cocktail after taking the time to research lesser known Australian history. He explained “I wanted to focus on something a little different, that most people around the world wouldn’t know about, whilst at the same time tell an interesting story about the history of our country.”

 For this he settled on the comical tales of Ben Hall the bushranger: “They reminded me of being a little brother playing tricks on my older one.”

 “For the cocktail itself, I wanted it to relate to what the people of 1863 may have drunk. The rural areas back then were populated by poor and oppressed Irish families, so I created a drink that replicated a glass of Irish whiskey, stirred down with some added elements to heighten flavours for a tasty serve.,” he finished.

 

Ben Hall Cocktail

50ml Irish Whiskey (Green Spot)

10ml Cherry Heering

15ml Freya Birch

7.5ml Sweet Vermouth

Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a frozen Sazerac glass (no ice).

Garnish: Lemon zest twist (discarded) 

Glassware: Old fashion

Alex Kratena & 1921 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Hayden Wood

Alex is the founder of industry non-for profit P(OUR), the name P(OUR) is the union between OUR and PURE. Hes the former Head Bartender of Artesian, London, where he has led the bar and his team to win multiple awards. Artesian was recognised as Number 1 for four consecutive years in the Worlds 50 Best Bar Awards. Alex has also collected several personal awards including Best International Bartender(2012), at Tales of the Cocktail and Bar Personality of the Year 2013by Imbibe Magazine.

Alex chose 1921from the 200 years of Heerings history The year when the famous illusionist Harry Houdini started the Houdini Corporation to use his fame in order to diversify into new and interesting areas.

Alex has put his energy and considerable talent to be an agent of change through building a like-minded community and bringing our industry together with one voice. I think what is really important now is that our generation is especially well placed to demand these sort of changes because there are way too many areas where things are still being done like they have always been done. For us, we are not afraid to ask for what we want to change. Also, we need to be part of the change because it’s not about pointing fingers. It’s about everybody working together, to achieve that.

This helps to explain Alexs choice of 1921. Harry Houdini used his talent and his fame to branch out into other areas to try and make a difference. Alex knows that his numerous awards as the driving force behind The Artesian gives him a platform to be able to try and make a difference to the industry he knows and loves. P(OUR) is the perfect vehicle for Alex to influence the direction and make the drinks industry and better, healthier more equal and more sustainable place for all.

 P(OUR) is a symposium described as a bartender collectivethat seeks to build a holistic community for the global drinks industry. The symposium convenes annually and features a series of curated talks by influential bartenders and drinks professionals. He sees the industry changing for the better, particularly in its closeness and collaboration with the fine dining scene; I think that some bars are heading in that direction. At the same time restaurants are losing the stuffy white tablecloth look and are getting much more simple with simpler menus, simple décor and the focus is really where it should be, which is on the produce. I think for me, this is where the bar industry is heading. Bars are now  beginning to understand fully what is their style and their own journey rather than following a trend, which is going to be different in a year’s time. The people who just follow what’s happening at the top of the industry will never lead.  This is a huge step for the maturity of our industry.

P(OUR) is aiming to be at the forefront of this change while focusing on the sustainability of the industry. I think the biggest difference with P(OUR is that its set from the point of view of the bartender. First of all, its about staying true to yourself and then realising that you need to manage yourself. There’s not going to be anyone else managing you in a job which people used to do for a few years and have a good time and party. Suddenly, with bartending becoming a viable, long-term career it’s more like a marathon. When you run a marathon, you need a schedule and you run it in a different way than you would run a sprint.

The duty of care to himself and his staff is an ongoing passion for Alex; It all starts with your body. It’s very difficult to generalise it but I think the responsibility really lies with all stakeholders. I think we all understand that licensing or regulation is not a bad thing but at the same time, if it’s taken to the absolute extreme, it doesn’t make sense either. Bartenders have a huge responsibility in dispensing essentially what is a drug but the responsibility also lies with the consumer and the industry itself as a whole.

 P(OUR) sets its sights on being a forum to answer the most pressing issues in our industry like gender equality, financial and environmental sustainability as well as the health and wellbeing of the people who work in it. Alex sees these issues as the natural flow through from issues that are increasingly relevant in society at large;

If we had full gender equality in our industry, we would have a greater chance at succeeding with the health of our industry and the sustainability of it as a whole. It would allow us to have a more balanced approach to achieving that important goal. Perhaps gender equality is maybe the priority. 

 Alex was first introduced to Cherry Heering in the mid-nineties at his first ever bar course in his hometown in the Czech Republic. The course focused heavily on product knowledge and classic cocktails and Cherry Heering and the story of the Singapore Sling stood out for him. He was already a working bartender by then and the knowledge he gained through training whet his appetite for more and influenced his career path to start P(OUR) in 2016.

 I love how Harry Houdini used to challenge local police wherever he went to chain him up and hand cuff him and he’d always escape, my kind of character. Lolz.

 

NOW U SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T COCKTAIL 

20ml Cherry Heering

15ml Empirical Spirits Fallen Pony

10ml Minus 8 Verjus

40ml Lingonberry ferment*

1pcs Grapefruit zest

 

GLASS: Rocks

METHOD: Stir all ingredient with ice and strain into a ice-filled glass.  

GARNISH: grapefruit zest/discard

ICE: Rocks 

 

 *Lingonberry ferment

4g Champagne yeast

2.5kg Lingonberry

1.4kg sugar

2g pectolase

5litre water

 To create the base chop fruit. Combine with pectolase and 3.5litres of water. Place in fermentation bucket with air lock and leave in dark room at 22-24 Celsius for 24-hours. Combine sugar with 1.5litre of hot water and combine with yeast. Add the mixture to the base and leave for 5days. Strain using strainer and place into demijohn with airlock and ferment for at least 6-months. Strain using superbag.

 

  

Simon Ford & 1903 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Theodora Sutcliffe

“In 1903 the Wright Brothers took their first flight in North Carolina and the very first automobile trip across the USA occurred,” explains Simon Ford of the 86 Co. “Over the course of history, both the airplane and the automobile have democratised travel.”

Ford worked with brands for almost two decades before starting the 86 Co with his friend Malte Barnekow (Employees Only’s Jason Kosmas is also a partner). With four separate brands of their own, including Ford’s Gin, travel remains a major part of his life. He reached gold status on two separate airlines last year and, having recently relocated to Nashville, will likely be more reliant on the Wright Brothers than ever.


For his Heering anniversary cocktail, Ford chose to reimagine an earlier invention that also plays on the timeless pairing of Cherry Heering and gin. “I created a drink about four years ago called It Doesn’t Take an Empire,” he explains. “Obviously both gin and Cherry Heering have spices, and this whole idea of spices came from these old colonial empires.” The Star Wars reference is a typical Ford twist.

 

Even after a decade and a half in the US, Ford remains thoroughly British – right down to a still distinguishable West Country burr. He came of age professionally amid the creative fervour and Wild West opportunities of London’s emergent 1990s drinks scene. After starting his career with wine merchant Oddbins, he moved to the drinks company known as Seagrams, then used his severance package to open his own bar, Koba.

“I met all these amazing bartenders – Dick Bradsell, Nick Strangeway – and discovered this whole world of craft bartending,” Ford recalls. “We opened a bar above the Oddbins I was managing and turned it into Brighton’s first serious cocktail bar.”

 

With a capacity of barely 40, however, and a price ceiling considerably lower than in today’s world of reserve spirits, molecular mixology and house-made bitters, it was hard to make any money. When drinks marketing svengali Nick Blacknell asked him to launch Plymouth Gin, Ford jumped at the chance.

In the early noughties, brand ambassadors, like gins, were few and far between. “Back then, you were a character to embody the spirit of your brand. You were being hired as a face, someone that could essentially be an extension of the master distiller, when the master distiller wasn’t available,” Ford recalls. “Because there so few of us, that was achievable. Now certain brands have a brand ambassador in every city, and it’s hard to establish the face of the brand when there are 20 or 30 ambassadors.”

The role also brought him into close proximity with Cherry Heering. “When I was working for the Absolut Spirits Company, Nick Blacknell asked me to look after a couple that were working for Danish Distillers,” Ford recalls. He planned a night on the town for a pair of hip young Scandinavian industry folk, but the aristocratic and very elderly president of Danish Distillers arrived with his equally veteran wife. Rather than switch tactics and take them to the Savoy, Ford stuck with his original plan, debauchery at Opium, followed by an evening touring bars where the poor old couple endured fluent critiques of their other brands.

Ford’s work with Pernod-Ricard was key to starting his own business. It provided him with a personal platform, helped him master trade marketing and brand advocacy, and delivered the insights needed to build a brand tailored to bartenders. Yet, says Ford, who tested 83 different recipes before finally settling on the formula for the gin that bears his name, independence is full of surprises.

 

“If I were advising a bartender now, I’d say: ‘Learn from my mistakes,’” he notes. “Create a business plan that aims to start small and steady. Try and reach a place of profit – even if it’s a little bit of profit early on in a smaller universe than trying to take over the world. I call it proof of concept. If you can get it to work in your home town, there’s someone who will pay you to take it global.”

While less than entirely impressed with the state of brand ambassadorhood in today’s global drinks trade, Ford finds the move towards indigenous ingredients – as opposed to just local ingredients – one of many encouraging new trends. “In a way, it’s part of the wider conversation about closed loop or green cocktails, where you’re looking to reduce waste,” he says. “No one is picking a fight with the spirits and cocktail world at the moment, but if they chose to, there’s a world of waste.”

Yet give Ford a magic wand and his number one wish would be, like the Wright Brothers, to open up the globe. “I’d love to remove passports from bartenders so every bartender could move around the world freely,” he says. “We forget how lucky we are. I met a Palestinian bartender, and he can’t ever see his family. If he goes back, he’ll never be able to leave. That’s it. He’s estranged forever.”

The Empire Strikes Back 

1 oz Cherry Heering

2 oz Fords gin

1/2 oz lemon juice

3/4 oz cinnamon, ginger and coffee infused simple syrup

1 dash cardamom bitters

Top with Fever Tree Tonic Water

 

Glass: Highball

Method: Shake all ingredients and strain into a ice-chilled glass. Top with tonic water

Garnish:  a cherry and a lemon wheel.

 

 

Renato Giovannoni & 1856 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Theodora Sutcliffe

Argentina is famous for its fertile farmland, where gauchos herd cattle and farmers tend fields of undulating corn. And much of that land traces its history back to 1856, when 200-odd European immigrants arrived and began to settle the young nation’s first agricultural colony, Colonia Esperanza, or the “Colony of Hope”.

“That was the first colony established in Argentina: it changed the country. The way we eat, the way we drink, it’s a big part of who we are,” explains Renato Giovannoni, flagbearer for Buenos Aires cocktail culture on the international stage. Known to all as ‘Tato’, Giovannoni is the mastermind behind Florería Atlantico, the vintage drinking den that’s Argentina’s only entry on the World’s 50 Best Bars, Príncipe de los Apóstoles gin, now available in 17 countries, and an impressive range of other businesses.

Argentina’s international heritage, and the different nations represented in Colonia Esperanza, inspired Giovannoni’s recipe, which is rigorously 19th century in style – right down to the gin. “Even though Apóstoles works really good, if I’m going to tell a story about 1856 it should be genever or a classic London Dry gin,” he says.

Vermouths stand in for France and Italy, sherry for Spain, Cherry Heering for the northern European immigrants and Atlantic sea water for the ocean voyage. “The blend of those ingredients is very Argentinian,” Giovannoni says. “Really dry, not too sweet, but at the same time it’s bitter, that’s the way I see Argentina.”

Love of Argentina, and the ocean, infuses everything Giovannoni does. Apóstoles, still barely five years old, sold 170,000 bottles last year, more than ten times ahead of plan. Its flavour centres on that distinctively Argentine botanical, yerba mate. “During the hot season in the northeast, we put the broken dry leaves of mate, ice cold water and some other botanicals into a thermos: it’s called tereré,” he says. “I was looking for something that represents Argentina outside of Argentina.”

 

Unsurprisingly for someone so passionate about Argentina, Giovannoni’s businesses – which currently include a tonic, a ginger ale, a vermouth, two beers, a shop specialising in the local chorizo sandwich, choripán, and a restaurant, as well as Apóstoles and Florería – are all in his home country. But he lives with his Brazilian wife, Aline Vargas, and their two young children in Rio. The couple, who met while they were working at the Faena Hotel and were engaged within a month of their first date, used to run a quiosque, a type of beach bar-cum-eatery, but had to get rid of it last year.

“It was a lot of fun at the beginning. It was beautiful to work on the beach, go and buy live fish, and walk barefoot on the sand, really nice, but Rio changed a lot,” Giovannoni recalls. “We were robbed eight times in one year – four times in the last month. You’d come back the next morning, no coffee machine, no oven, no dishes, no food, no bottles, then you’d need to buy everything again.”

 

While Rio enables the children to enjoy an even better version of the beachside childhood Giovannoni loved in small town Pinamar, managing a bar from a distance presents its challenges. He and Vargas take it in turns to look after the business, but there are still stretches when neither is present. “It was like a university for me! It’s learning how to run a business without you being there every day,” Giovannoni says. “It was a lot of learning how to delegate, how to trust in people.”

Giovannoni studied film-making and trained as an advertising art director, a skill that’s evident in the label for Apóstoles, which he designed, his book, Coctelería Argentina: El Mar de Tato(Argentine Cocktail Bartending: Tato’s Sea), and his bar. Yet Argentina’s history as a nation of scrappy, international immigrants remains close to his heart.

 

Florería, entered through a florist and a wine shop, takes inspiration from the drinking dens the 4,000,000 or so immigrants who came to Argentina in the decades following 1856 would have experienced. Giovannoni’s vermouth, based on two distinct wines, reflects the homemade products Mediterranean immigrants brought on the long and dangerous sea voyage; his Marítima beer includes sea salt from Patagonia.

And, if he could, Giovannoni would like to keep Apóstoles Argentinian. “We’re glad Apóstoles is doing good so we can keep on doing things, reinvesting all the money,” he says. “Me and Aline, we always thought the products would be in our family, for our family. We need money to live, but we don’t do things for money. You never know till an offer comes in, but we’re not planning to sell.” It’s an independent attitude those first arrivals in Colonia Esperanza would have recognised – even back in 1856.

Colonia Esperanza

35ml London dry gin
15ml Cherry Heering
10ml Oloroso sherry
10ml Punt e mes
dash French dry vermouth
3 drops of Atlantic ocean sea water

Glass: coupe

Method: stir all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass
Garnish: pink grape fruit peel

 

Shingo Gokan & 1923 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Theodora Sutcliffe

Japanese schoolchildren remember 1923 for the 7.9-magnitude earthquake that shattered Tokyo, killing at least 140,000 people and causing a 12-metre tsunami. But Shingo Gokan, the Japanese bartender who made his name at Angel’s Share, New York, and now owns China’s best bar, Speak Low, chose to commemorate a very different anniversary.

“The original Cherry Blossom cocktail is a very classic drink in Japan – it’s actually the oldest and most famous classic drink that was born in Japan,” Gokan says. “Not many Japanese cocktails are famous globally, but this cocktail has been in the Savoy Cocktail Book since 1930.”

While nobody knows the year that Tasaburo Tao created the original Cherry Blossom, he opened his bar, the Café de Paris, in Yokohama in 1923. Like Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, it remains in the family even now.

Yokohama was Japan’s first international port, and bars and bartenders – among them Louis Eppinger, considered one of the fathers of Japanese bartending – arrived in the city long before they came to Tokyo. “In the 1910s and the 1920s, a lot of cruise ships came from the US and the UK,” Gokan says. “That’s how we got our cocktail culture.”

By the time Tao created his drink, the cherry blossom, or sakura, had been a cultural icon in Japan for centuries. “It’s iconic, not only for the flower, but it’s an iconic plant, an iconic activity, an iconic colour,” Gokan explains. “In the spring we celebrate when the sakura blooms by having parties under the sakura trees – it’s a very important activity.”

To reimagine Tao’s creation, Gokan combined a range of different recipes, then added a couple of contemporary twists: a tonka bean infusion and a milk wash. “Sakura petals and tonka beans have a very similar flavour, and when Japanese people try tonka bean for the first time, it usually reminds us of sakura,” he says. “We have a very traditional sakura dessert called sakura mochi, which is a sticky rice cake, and when you add the milk to the cocktail you get a milky note like sakura mochi.”

Gokan started work when he was 18, in his home town not far from Yokohama. Rather than follow the traditional apprenticeship system, he got a job in a high-volume restaurant bar and began to teach himself cocktails on the side. “The first cocktail that I made from a recipe was a Singapore Sling: that was the first time I made a cocktail by myself,” he recalls.

By the time he turned 20, Gokan was head bartender in a local bar. Aged 23, he headed to New York to make his fortune – despite only speaking Japanese. He joined Angel’s Share, one of the city’s oldest and best regarded secret bars, in 2006 – and would remain involved with the bar for a decade.

While Angel’s Share hired him for his Japanese bartending technique, Gokan considers his style hybrid. “I’m trying to combine American style and Japanese style,” he says. “My international bartender friends say I’m very Japanese, but my friends in Japan say I’m very Western style.”

Winning the Bacardí Legacy cocktail competition in 2012 transformed Gokan’s career. “After I won the Legacy I started travelling all over the world. I had a guest bartendership at the Savoy, lots of countries and cities asked me for partnerships and guest partnerships,” he says. “Now competitions are everywhere, and everyone is travelling a lot, but at that time not many people were doing that much travel: it was very good timing.”

With the help of two separate sets of backers, one Asia-based and one in the US, Gokan has a stake in an impressive number of venues. He launched Speak Low, the turbo-charged French Concession speakeasy that stands at number 10 on the World’s 50 Best list, in Shanghai in 2014; Sober Company followed in 2017, and is now home to four distinct venues. Gokan’s first Tokyo venture, SG Club, should launch in May, while there are plans for a New York bar in a couple of years.

Gokan is impressed by how the Chinese bar scene has developed since he opened Speak Low. “The Chinese economy is pretty good, so every month there are new bars opening – not just in Shanghai, but everywhere in China,” he says, noting that bartending is now seen as a fashionable career in the Middle Kingdom. “Proof & Company came to China last year, and they’re raising the level of education. DRiNK magazine China did the Bar Awards last year, and it’s actually bigger than Tales of the Cocktail! It was huge!”

Yet, while Gokan admires Singapore’s bartending scene immensely, he feels it will be a while before China catches up with Japan. “The bar culture is still very new,” he says. “In Japan, cocktail culture is more than 100 years old: we’ve polished our skills and created our own ways.”

Sakura 1923

Cherry Heering 30ml

Rye-cognac sous-vide tonka bean blend 30ml

Sweet vermouth 15ml

Curacao 15ml
Lemon juice 10ml
Milk (for clarification) 15ml

Method: Cook equal parts Rye & Cognac sous-vide with tonka beans, add the cherry heering, vermouth, curacao, lemon juice and the milk, then it curdles, then you strain it, then get a completely clear liquid, so that’s the final product. After you’ve clarified everything, you pour into the mixing glass, stir it, strain into chilled glass.
Glass: Coupe

Garnish = salted sakura petal, very common ingredient in Japan. Sakura petal are normally soaked in salt to preserve them and keep their freshness, it’s a common product in Japan, not home made.

Ian Burrell & 1962 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Ian Burrell is one of the most unique figures in the spirits and cocktails world, if not the world in general. Most people you can pin down and define pretty easily: I’m a bartender, she’s a spirits writer, he’s a brand ambassador, and so on. But I’ve been friends with Ian for a decade now, and when I introduce him to new people I still haven’t found a way to sum him up in a neat little package, other than “He’s, you know, the ambassador of rum, and the most entertaining guy you’ll ever meet.”

Ian has never been comfortable with settling for just one life. He was a professional basketball player in the UK. Then he was an international recording artist known as The Dude, whose hit “Rock Da Juice” is one of the most fun pop songs you’ll ever hear. And then in 2007, Ian took a sharp turn and turned a lifelong love of rum into UK RumFest, the world’s first international celebration of all things rum, presided over by the world’s first international ambassador of rum. And Ian is also unique in that regard: he doesn’t just represent one single brand – he is the face of an entire category.

I asked the Rum Ambassador to share his favorite Cherry Heering memory with me, and he naturally spoke of a former Danish girlfriend. “She challenged me to create a Danish cocktail for her. I knew she liked Blood & Sands, so I simply substituted the whisky for a Jamaican rum, added sweet vermouth, fresh orange, and Denmark’s famous Cherry Heering. Shook it and served it in a glass that had captured the smoke from burning cherry wood. I called it “Jamaican Blood”. She loved it, and me, of course.”

Of course she did. I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t immediately drawn in by Ian’s charm and infectious joyous personality. And the professional world feels the same way. He’s an educator who entertains, and is constantly in demand to give keynote speeches, lead rum tastings, and present cocktail demonstrations to trade & consumers alike. I bump into Ian in my travels all over the world, there’s seemingly nowhere he isn’t admired. In 2014 he even found the time to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest organized rum tasting. Impressive to say the least.

And I think it’s really because you can feel the passion for not only rum and education from Ian, but you can feel his passion for life. He is a six-time final four nominee as International Brands Ambassador of the year at the Spirited Awards at The Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, even though Ian doesn’t represent any single brand.

For his cocktail, Ian selected the year 1962, the year Jamaica gained its independence from England. Ian’s parents are Jamaican, so his roots with the island run deep. The cocktail, made as a nod to the Old Fashioned, uses Jamaican products, with Cherry Heering & chocolate bitters adding a fruit-forward flavor profile popular on the Caribbean island. And to tie the whole thing together, he names the drink “Cherry Oh Baby” after Eric Donaldson’s smash hit from 1971, which incidentally was the year both Ian and I were born.

When Ian concocts a new drink he does so to help give people a better understanding of the vast world of rum flavors and style within a cocktail. Thanks to much of his hard work, bartenders are moving away from just using a white, gold or dark rum within their drinks. They are calling for styles of rums such as Jamaican pure single rum, or a Barbadian single blend or even a light Puerto Rican style rum.

 

Ian starts with blended Jamaican rum, and then brings in a healthy dose of Cherry Heering to round out those fruit notes. Cherry Heering helped steer him towards fuller bodied rums with deep fruity & spicy notes, as he will happily tell you. The drink is touched with a bit of a sorrel syrup and allspice dram, and then hits it with some chocolate bitters. The drink is stirred, and served over large ice in a chilled Old Fashioned glass. And the garnish? Why, a cherry dipped in chocolate, naturally.

Ian is a credit to our profession. Not only is the man charming, positive, and a joyous addition to every room he lights up with his infectious smile, he is also a light to others. He strives every day to show people that, in his words, “I have one chance to make our industry better. So I help to promote diversity within our industry and show that ANYONE can achieve, if they believe in themselves.” We’re all better for knowing you, Ian.

Cherry Oh Baby

60ml Appleton Rare Blend Rum

20ml Cherry Heering

5ml Sorrel Syrup

5ml of St Elizabeth Allspice Dram

2 Dash of chocolate bitters

Method: Stir all of the ingredients in a mixing glass until very cold. Serve in a large double rocks glass with a block of ice.

Glass: double Old Fashion

Garnish: Cherry dipped in chocolate

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