James Irvine & 1977 – One of Heering´s 200 years

Words by: Jenny Adams

“Star Wars, for me, has been the one thing in my life that has remained relevant. I guess I’m a massive nerd,” admits James Irvine, proudly. When Cherry Heering approached him to help them honor 200 years in business in 2018, he gladly took to the challenge, selecting 1977 as the year he’d most love to design a drink around in the last two centuries. For Irvine, 1977 evoked thoughts of the original powerhouse by George Lucas debuting on the silver screen, of childhood and pop culture.

It’s true, this remaining relevance. There is something independently applicable about the Star Wars franchise, no matter the year. It’s long outlasted the disco that defined that decade. More movies hit the big screen through the Wall-Street-focused 1980s. A prequel trilogy emerged between 1999 and 2005, followed by a sequel trilogy in this decade. Easily the same could be said for Cherry Heering, which has known a shelf in barrooms prior to electric lights and indoor plumbing. As coveted through the turbulent 1920s and as brilliant in a Singapore Sling now as it was when the Raffles first served them in 1915.

“There was no real challenge in producing a drink,” Irvine offers, saying he was never intimidated to create the tipple to honor it. “I think the challenge was finding an appropriate name,” he says. “The flavor that inspired it was classic Kalimotxo, with a desert twist and some native produce.”

He started with the idea of a classic Kalimotxo––the Spanish classic-but-strange combination of red wine and Coca-Cola. He then considered his home base of Sydney, Australia for the twist. “The cola component is made using a key Australian ingredient … the humble wattle seed,” he says. “The cola is produced at a local bar, PS40, that has started commercially selling these bad boys.”

Irvine himself works with in Swillhouse Group Sydney, which owns and operates Shady Pines Saloon, The Baxter Inn, Frankie’s Pizza and Restaurant Hubert.

The Smoked Cherry Cola included in his drink is a several-day process, made with that small-batch wattle seed cola, cut with cold water and hit with Cherry Heering, whole dried chipotle peppers, lime peels that are de-pithed, as well as citric, absorbic and malic acids. Everything is put into a Cryo-Vac bag and sealed under high pressure. It’s sous vide for an hour, ice bathed and chilled until he carbonates it and uses it in the drink.

The drink itself is built with the chipotle and cherry cola, red wine and is lengthened by a splash of Estancia Raicilla, served in a crystal Riesling glass with a chipotle salt rim.

He settled on the name Tatooine Kalimotxo, a nod to a sun-scorched planet in the film, from which both Anakin and Luke Skywalker hail. It’s a further nod to the similar climate found in Australia’s own rough desert lands.

Irvine’s use of molecular techniques, acids and custom colas, plus a last, final carbonation process, give the simply served drink a crazy complexity. It’s a perfect homage to Lucas’ bizarre characters and to the complexity of considering the universe. Of life on other planets. Of galaxies far, far away.

Star Wars is the Great Pyramid of American Pop Culture. It is the fount from which so much nostalgia flows. It’s taught kids to dream beyond any boundaries and it’s kept grown adults feeling that sense of wonder so easily accessed in youth. Remarkable characters to cheer or hate. A love story. A generation definer that beyond all odds has been passed on to every generation since those very first tickets sold back in 1977.

The heyday will forever be that original screening, for this saga that has shaped not just a nation but the world. If you saw it on the screen the very first time … well … that was really something.

Tatooine Kalimotxo

75ml Chipotle x Cherry Heering Wattle Seed Cola*

75ml Red Wine

5ml Estancia Raicilla

*Chipotle x Cherring Heering Cola

350g PS40 Wattle seed Cola    Prep time: overnight

350g Cold Water

175g Cherry Heering

35g Whole dried chipotle peppers, blitzed

5 Limes peels, depithed

5g Citric Acid

5g Malic Acid

5g Ascorbic Acid


Dissolve acids into liquids

Place all ingredients into a cryovac bag and seal under high pressure

Set ANOVA to 60 degrees Celsius and sous vide for 60 minutes

Once ready, place in an ice bath and allow cooling and refrigerate for 24 hours

Once ready, fine strain and keep refrigerated



Jamie Rhind & 1953 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Maggie Beale

There are occasions in life that make a lasting impact. For Jamie Rhind it was the occasion of his 21st birthday. “To celebrate my father took me to Singapore, where we went to The Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel. It was the first time I saw firsthand the history of a classic.

While there his Dad told him the story behind the Singapore Sling – the venue’s signature cocktail.

“I realised that this Cocktail had been carried through generations and had helped boost the reputation of the hotel for many years. It prompted me to read more. I started reading more into the cocktail and the history, and one thing that stuck with me was that through many different opinions of bartenders on what gin to use and how to make the cocktail, Cherry Heering was the only thing they all agreed on!”

Little did Jamie know then that it would lead him into the fascinating world of bartending and become part of the team at London’s most celebrated bar, The Artesian at The Langham London. Significantly, The Artesian was the Number One in the World’s 50 Best Bars for four consecutive years while Jamie was being taught by Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale.

In 2016 Jamie changed jobs and today he is the Bar Operations Manager at the famed Bamboo Bar in the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok.

“I am very proud and excited to be part of the movement in the Bangkok bar scene right now. When I arrived here two years ago, the scene was starting to progress and it has taken great strides since then, with everyone pushing each other to achieve more. I am proud to help play a small part in this by striving to get the Bamboo Bar and Bangkok more global recognition by taking part in guest shifts around the globe and also hosting guests from other countries.”

Now, the Bamboo Bar has risen from No.34 in Asia’s Top 50 Bar awards to No. 9th and has been named as Thailand’s Best Bar.

There have been many changes along the way, including drinking trends, Jamie says, “Sustainability is the trend now, which is slowly but surely getting into people’s heads. Bars now opening are using it as the core of their concept, and in business terms, it can be very profitable. Especially when we talk about cutting food waste, making more of our own syrups and so on.”

As a consequence he has driven projects on sustainability in hotels and the use of local ingredients in cocktails that will be seen in his new menu ‘Local’ being released in 2018.

Keys for success? “It’s an easy one, work hard. You don’t achieve anything easily in life. Also a big key to success is appreciating the people who help you in your journey. Staff you work with, F&B directors and managers, owners, they all help contribute to any success you have. You cannot run a bar on your own!”

If you had one chance to make the industry better, what would you do?

“I would love to help set up an organisation to help industry people on subjects about mental and physical health. It’s still a taboo topic in the industry. Our industry is pushing the boundaries higher and higher each year – which is great – however this comes with more pressure to become better – working longer hours, travelling more – all to become better.

“This, added to the fact that we work with booze, leads a lot of us to drink more and not look after our bodies. I also think there isn’t enough information out there regarding mental health. I feel we need an organization to help us relate to mental health in our industry. To talk about the problems we have in our work place and how we can deal with them. This is hopefully something I can help be a part of in our industry in the future.

“When I was given the chance to mark this significant occasion in Heering’s history, I chose to feature the year 1953 as that was the year The Bamboo Bar was born. It was the first Jazz bar to open in Thailand, in a tiny room in the Hotel’s original Author’s Wing building, and very soon The Bamboo Bar had A-listers flocking in from Europe and America to experience the vibe. It was not unusual to see Jazz legends such as Neil Armstrong and Duke Ellington ‘jamming’ amongst delighted guests. During that time the room used to have a cloud of cigar smoke floating across the space, as guests – both gents and the occasional daring lady took time to enjoy a smoke along with their cocktails.

“The first thing that hit you when you walked into The Bamboo Bar then may have been the cigar smoke, but the place oozed class and sophistication decorated in rich leathers and wood varnish.”

Assets it still has!

Today, which specific flavours have inspired your cocktail? Especially typical flavours from your country that were popular during 1953 – the period you’ve selected?

“Alongside Cherry Heering, Lagavulin 16yo single malt is used as the base. This replicates the smokey scene that greeted guests as they walked into The Bamboo Bar. And it’s why I’ve named it – Smokey Mirrors.”



45ml Lagavulin 16yo

20ml Cherry Heering

15ml Punt e Mes

10ml Homemade Ginger Syrup


Homemade Ginger Syrup

Boil 100gm fresh ginger with 100ml water for 5 minutes. Strain out the ginger and stir in 1kg of sugar along with freshly made ginger tea.


Glass: Rock

Method: Pour into a rock glass, stir and add an ice chunk/block/ball.

Garnish: Orange twist and a cherry.


Ivan Avellandeda & 1954 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Theodora Sutcliffe

Ivan Avellaneda’s mother was born into a dark time for Colombia. In Paris, he celebrates her birth with Latin flavours.

“My parents are my strength for everything,” says Ivan Avellaneda, who made his name by progressing from bar back to general manager at Candelaria, Paris, the Latin-American bar that’s been a fixture on the World’s 50 Best since 2012. 1954 was the year his mother, Rebeca, was born, and his cocktail, That’s All Right, Mama, pays tribute to her.

The 50s were a dark period for Colombia. La Violencia, a civil war sparked by the assassination of a progressive politician, began in 1948: by 1954, a brutal military dictatorship was in place. Avellaneda sees the decade as a dividing line that slices Colombian history in two. “It’s really interesting to think that my mother and my father were born into a lot of political and security troubles,” he says.

Although Rebeca has such a sweet palate that Avellaneda thinks she’d rather drink Peter Heering neat than in a cocktail, she inspires many of her son’s creations. “It’s really funny, because she doesn’t even drink too much alcohol,” he says. “But when I try to think about a cocktail or a dish or whatever I want to propose to a guest, I always think about her enjoyment face.”

The bittersweet notes of Avellaneda’s long drink reflects the bittersweet nature of the year 1954 in his mind, yet he has used few overtly Colombian elements. “I was supposed to maybe work with a lot of fruits and tropical stuff, but I wanted to go a bit away from the ordinary,” he says. “Fernet Branca Menta, which is really aromatic and quite strong in flavour, represents a lot of sensations I used to have when I was a kid, because we do like mint a lot in Colombia, and we used to drink a lot of mint tea.”

 For someone who has only just entered his fourth decade, Avellaneda has had a diverse career. He trained and practised as a psychologist in Colombia, then worked as a headhunter before coming to Paris to study for a master’s in psychotherapy. Starting as a part-time bar back, he soon replaced his studies with a hospitality qualification to further his goal of progressing to manager.

The bartender as psychologist is something of a cliché. Yet, as one of few people in the world to have worked professionally in both fields, Avellaneda observes that the roles are very different. As a psychologist, he worked first with children living with Down’s Syndrome, autism or other conditions, then to help women traumatised by Colombia’s long conflict.

While rewarding, the work was also gruelling: Avellaneda’s patients might have been gang-raped, abducted, or seen their children murdered before their eyes. “It was really tough to work with them and help them go through life with those memories of things,” he says.

 Even if Candelaria were the type of bar where customers treated the bartender as confidant there would be little comparison. “Psychology helped a lot more in my managing skills than in bartending alone,” Avellaneda says. “It helped me to build good, happy, high-performing teams, and it helped me to lead them on the human-focused side.”

A thoughtful, precise man, Avellaneda finds a number of trends in the industry concerning. He sees bars adopting issues like gender equality and environmental sustainability for the sake of fashion, or even as a marketing ploy, when they should be instinctual. The fetish for social media, bloggers and Instagrammers, irritates him.

Having left Candelaria in late 2017, Avellaneda is hoping to open his as-yet-unnamed new place by May 2018. Unsurprisingly for someone known for his expertise in Latin American products, the new place will have a Colombian angle – less predictably, it will be a restaurant, not a bar.

“I do love cocktails, I really enjoy them. I love creating them, I love serving them, I love sharing a glass with people, but I think that now in Paris there are a lot of cocktail bars,” he explains. “I want to open a place for us, where it’s fun, but not too complicated and not too fancy.”

Avellaneda’s partner, also Colombian, is a chef, and the focus will be on the diverse products and spices of a nation that runs from the Amazon rainforest to the snowy Andes, from sweeping grasslands to chilly Bogotá.

 As Bogotá’s own bar scene begins to take off, it could be a well-timed move. “Last time I was there, it was quite impressive,” Avellaneda says. “People are starting to do a lot of interesting stuff and we’re opening the market for spirits a little bit more: I’m seeing a lot of new products, a lot of new restaurants with a really cool cocktail offer, and cocktail bars as well.”

And, while a Colombian restaurant in the heart of Paris would have been unthinkable not only in 1954 but as recently as 1994, Avellaneda may have timed his moment well. His mother, no doubt, will be proud.

That`s all right, Mama

1,5 cl Peter heering 

4cl  Amaro piemontese 

1cl Cola/Vanilla/orange blossom syrup

1cl Lemon Juice

0,5cl Fernet Branca menta

4 cl soda 

Glass: Rocks

Method:  Fill glass with ice and build ingredients

Garnish: Mint sprig and orange twist

Syrup recipe:
990ml basic coca-cola (I use a different brand, a cola soda: Fritz Cola from Germany – it’s not too sweet with a lot of vanilla flavour in it). It’s a cola reduction, you heat it up to reduce it to a syrup and take out all the gassy stuff, let it infuse with a little bit of vanilla stick while it’s still a little bit hot. At the end I add a bit more sugar (10g), plus a barspoon of orange blossom to give the aromatic side: that’s even in a big batch. The idea is not to have a really thick consistent syrup, because cocktail is built in the glass, should be easy to mix, the idea is for the syrup to be a little more liquid, and also the ABV on this cocktail is really low, we don’t need too much dilution on it. Better to have really not that big syrups.

Jad Ballout & 1943 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Fabio Bacchi

Beirut is a cosmopolitan city at heart, a melting-pot of cultures and traditions, a door which connects different worlds together in search of something new. A mix of forgotten and new flavours that are renewed in the search for the perfect combination. This is an ideal that gives life to the modern local bartending scene, which Jad Ballout is an exuberant and innovative part of.

His energetic stage is the Central Station Boutique Bar, crossroads for old and modern spirits that are always new when retold. Initially devoted to the kitchen, Jad Ballout discovered that creativity in bartending that allowed him to combine different but complimentary techniques and ingredients.

Pushing customers to venture on paths of unexplored but captivating, peculiar flavours is a big challenge. Thanks to the influence of Jad Ballout, Lebanon is now on the global cocktail map. He wholeheartedly wants something that differs from classic cocktails.

Story and culture as sources of evolving inspiration

Jad Ballout has represented his country at a number of international cocktail competitions. He draws his inspiration from everything around him. He dives into, explores and absorbs everything and then pours it into a glass. A very specific identity that can be clearly identified with Ballout’s way of thinking. “I love to travel and explore various cocktail cultures in different countries, and meet the best bartenders around the globe,”he says. His recipe for celebrating the Cherry Heering bicentenary comes from observing the real world.  Jad Ballout: “The most iconic symbol of Lebanon is the cedar tree which is on both our national flag and emblem. And the most iconic cocktail for Cherry Heering is the Singapore Sling. Combining these two striking historical elements, I created the Cedar Sling, a cocktail that celebrates the freedom of Lebanon as well as the free spirit in each of us. The experience of Cedar Sling is like no other: a journey through the woody cedar forest and a swing among the cherry and pineapple garden thereafter.” 

Jad Ballout and the modernist cocktail era

“The cocktail world is moving at lightning speed. Something which was noble yesterday could become obsolete today. Bartenders now are taking the scientific approach to deconstructing and reconstructing cocktails with both modern technologies and classic techniques. From the centrifuge to the rotary evaporator, from fermentation to ageing, there are constantly new techniques being invented, and that is the trend in our industry. What’s more, bartenders are gradually taking a minimalistic approach in the presentation of their cocktails. Such an aesthetic tendency also demonstrates that we are moving towards a modernist cocktail era”. 

The modern bartender according to Jad Ballout

“Bartenders are natural entrepreneurs – we create, we do not follow. There is another side to simply creating good cocktails. Developing creative bar concepts is one skill that is harder to master. A creative bar concept needs not only great cocktails but also a great brand identity, interior design and consumer experience. In other words, bartenders need to be savvy in multiple disciplines to really strike a win. That means bartenders need to expand their horizons from common liquor-based knowledge, to design, art and business management-based knowledge. To make the industry a better place, each of us should consider ourselves as entrepreneurs, not merely as a craftsman. That is why at Central Station we involve everyone in the management decision process to let them learn and grow. We also enrol them in master classes where they can learn both cocktail creation and bar management. I believe that when everyone considers himself a stakeholder, he will take more responsibility and make the industry a better place”. 

Celebrating Cherry Heering Bicentenary

1943 is the year that Lebanon declared independence and created its very own national flag with a cedar tree. The cocktail adds a modern twist to the classic Singapore Sling, evoking the woody aroma of a cedar tree and the anise flavour of the Lebanese national drink, Arak.


15ml Cherry Heering

15ml Gin

80ml cherry stem & pineapple juice *

40ml dry red wine

40ml soda water

Method: Chill all the ingredients except the rosemary. Pour the mix into a cream syphon and carbonate it with one CO2charger. Release the gas and open the cream syphon. Pour the cocktail over ice cubes. Place two drops of cedar essential oil on the rosemary and then give it a spray of Arak, and flame it with a torch. Add the garnish carefully to the cocktail.

Glassware: Highball glass.

Garnish: Rosemary flamed with Arak and cedar oil


*Cherry stem & pineapple juice recipe

400g clarified pineapple juice (using centrifuge)

30g granulated sugar

15g dried cherry stems

2g ascorbic acid

Cook all the above sous vide for 2 hours at 55˚C.





H. Joseph Ehrmann & 2003 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Theodora Sutcliffe

As the New Year dawned on 2003, H. Joseph Ehrmann was writing a business plan for the beaten-up Mission District saloon he hoped to acquire. “I lived on credit cards for a year, including taking my own investment in the company off my credit card,” he recalls. “21stNovember was opening night: and Elixir will be 15 years old this November (2018).”

Over those 15 years, Ehrmann’s career has gone from strength to strength. As we speak, he is on the verge of sealing the deal for a second San Francisco saloon, and considering expanding to new cities. He has businesses in the consultancy and events spaces. Oh, yes, and he’s a brand ambassador for Square One Organic Spirits, West Coast ambassador for the Museum of the American Cocktail, a founding advisor to Liquor.com and a judge at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition.

Ehrmann’s Heering anniversary cocktail is a direct descendant of one of the first drinks on Elixir’s menu, The Apple Spot. The updated version swaps out vodka for navy-strength gin, cinnamon dust for Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Aromatic Bitters, and adds a topper of fizzy water over crushed ice.

The focus with that opening menu was on easy, accessible drinks for a neighbourhood clientele. “I inherited a bar that had seven bottles on the back bar and five of those were Jameson,” Ehrmann recalls (the “H.”, with dot, stands for Harold). “Heering was one of the brands that I grabbed right away: I considered it a staple of the back bar. This was a fall drink, basically playing off the cherry-apple flavour pairing.”

Elixir might not have opened with a heritage theme. But the magic of the old-time saloon – gunslingers, cowboys and gold rush glitz – had stuck with Ehrmann ever since he was a child in New Jersey. “Later, I moved to Colorado and lived in Vail for four years,” he recalls. “I had a jeep, so I’d go to the ghost towns, hang out in Leadville, in the saloons and antique shops, and the same when I moved to Arizona.”

It was, however, a different gold rush from the one of 1848 that brought Ehrmann to the west coast. After college and years in the hospitality industry, he got an MBA and dived head-on into the corporate world. In 1999, the dot-com boom, the tech bubble that birthed titans like Amazon, Google and eBay as well as disasters like pets.com, was peaking – and Ehrmann moved west just in time for it to burst.

“In 1999 I got offered a job in San Jose, international business development for a software company – but it only lasted about nine months, and then the year blew up,” he recalls. “I started bartending again to make the rent, started a soup company with a friend of mine from high school, started doing some marketing and consultancy for a friend’s company. After doing that for six months, I was like, ‘Why am I spending so much time on other people’s businesses when I could be in the bar business?’”
In search of a bar, ideally a classic neighbourhood bar, Ehrmann moved to San Francisco. There he stumbled upon a site with a history dating back to at least 1858. “It was a dilapidated neighbourhood bar, going out of business, in bad shape, but I saw the Victorian bones in it. I knew it was a real deal Old West saloon,” he says.

The MBA helped raise almost $700,000 in debt and equity funding, yet Ehrmann still did the bulk of the refurb himself. “I had an army of volunteers, friends, some contractors, not many, and I basically restored the place and fixed it up in a more Victorian, cleaner appearance, something it might have looked like 100 years ago,” he recalls. They scraped away ten coats of paint, removed six layers of flooring, repaired earthquake-damaged walls and century-old pipework, and opened for business within four months of signing the lease.

Over the years, Elixir has moved with the times. The initial focus was on simple, accessible neighbourhood liquids; then Ehrmann surfed the cocktail revolution with artisan mixes based on market-fresh ingredients. “As the whole cocktail world started to explode, having a saloon in the biggest saloon town that dates back to those days was a pretty cool thing,” he says.

Yet, with more and more bartenders fighting for column inches and the cocktail space becoming increasingly crowded, Ehrmann took a strategic decision to put the emphasis on whiskey. Elixir is now a regular on lists of America’s top whiskey bars.

“The focus on whiskey makes the bar more sustainable as I want to keep exploring some of those other opportunities,” he explains. “Now the bar’s rocking as a whiskey bar that has great cocktails, great history. It’s a multifaceted business and I don’t have to spend all my time on cocktails.”

It seems like the man who, in 2003, literally hadn’t heard the word “mixology” has come close to full circle.


1oz NY Distilling Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin 

1oz Cherry Heering 

3 oz apple juice 

3 drops Degroff’s Allspice Bitters 

Soda water 

All Spice berries 

Glass: Collins

Method: Pour all ingredients into glass with crushed ice , stir or swizzle lightly

Garnish: Allspice berries


Giancomo Giannotti & 2006 – One of Heerings 200 year

Words by: Ashley Pini

Giacomo Gianotti, born in Tuscany, wanted to be a bartender “since the beginning,” he said. Having come from a background of hospitality (his family run an ice cream business), Giacomo has been involved in the hospitality industry since he was a child, but wanted to do something special and different to his parents and brothers. The idea of being a bartender always inspired me.

Following some time at hospitality school, he moved to London to learn English, and it was during this time in London that he discovered “a city with amazing cocktail bars and training, and it was there that I started my journey,” he added.

Giacomo went on to be crowned the 2014 World Class Competition Spain winner and then opened his very own bar, two events he told us made him realise that bartending would be his career from here on in. Fast forward to today, and a regular week for him includes working as one of the owners of his bar, Paradiso, as bar manager, as well as travelling constantly, “exporting Paradiso’s philosophy and style around the world!”

Giacomo chose 2006 as the year that has inspired his cocktail for the simple reason that “It is the year that Italy won the World Cup. It was incredible – everybody was partying and the most important element was that everybody was friends! Which can be quite difficult in Italy at times.”

He continued, “The cocktail I have created reminds me of the cake that my grandmother made me the day after the World Cup. It was a very special moment and one I will always remember. Unfortunately, she left us same year too.”

Of Cherry Heering, he said: “When I think about Cherry Heering. I’m think back to my first days bartending in London more than 10 years ago. I always related Cherry Heering with the classic cocktails and the history of cocktails.”

“The flavour remind me of my childhood, and I love it for mixing because is very versatile; good with sweet flavour, as well as working well with savory and umami ingredients.”

The element of the bartending industry that excites Giacomo the most is “without a doubt, the creation of new drinks – the creative process behind a drink, the introduction of a new ingredient and creating a new concept in general.”

Paradiso, the bar he works in, is a “speakeasy bar, modern style,” he went on. “From the street, what you will see is a pastrami bar and behind a vintage fridge there is Paradiso.”

“You enter Paradiso and find an elegant bar crafted from wood and white marble. The atmosphere is elegant but informal, and the service is very familiar.”

“Our signature cocktails are what stand us apart from the rest. We focus on surprising our guests and all their senses, from the flavour with exotic ingredients, presentation of the cocktails and aromas to unusual glassware.”

“I think sustainability is a huge issue within the industry and one that the industry as a whole needs to take notice of. I really hope that the future will see all bars start to respect our motherland, starting by refusing to use plastic straws and finding an alternative solution, reusing waste and of course recycling,” he concluded.

 Saffron & Cherry

40 ml Saffron Vodka

15 ml Cherry Heering

15 ml Rice Cream

3 ml Cynar

10 ml Lime triple sex ( i forgot to add )

1 dash cardamom essence

Glass: Rocks Glass

Method: Shake all ingredients and strain into a glass filled with crushed ice

Finish with float of Cherry Heering

Garnish: Butter biscuit, salt caramel cream and a cherry



Bar Shira & 1967 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Fabio Bacchi

It’s a significant time for bartending in Israel. This is thanks to an abundance of talented bartenders, especially in Tel Aviv, who are revolutionizing the local scene, giving themselves a specific professional identity and keeping up with the times.

This is typical of a relatively young country that is also no doubt at the forefront in many areas. An ambassador of Israel’s cocktail culture is Bar Shira from the Imperial Craft Bar of Tel Aviv’s Imperial Hotel. It has already been awarded for being the Best Bar in the Middle East & Africa and features in the World’s 50 Best Bars. His aim is to turn his country into one of the cornerstones of the new world-wide cocktail craze. Ambitious, courageous and determined, Bar Shira started on his mission when he decided to go into bartending in 2001.

 The start of a success defined by hope and courage, the present and future

“I am very proud of the Imperial Craft Bar, a dream that became a reality, a place where guests have a wonderful experience from the moment they walk through the door. They are thrown into a colonial, Asian environment. The rest of the world stays outside and we do our best to ensure this happens.” Thinking of these words I imagine that this is not so straight forward in a country that swings between an extreme desire for normality and constant attention, between nonchalance and anguish always lurking around the corner. “Yes. Bartending is more than just mixing liquids and filling glasses. It’s respect, sociality, a desire to be together.” Clear sentiments that when combined with societal life promise hope and a future.

 A solid style

Bar Shira loves simple recipes using ingredients that can be obtained almost anywhere. No extreme techniques, useless homemade additions or ingredients that you even wonder if they exist; a style that is reflected in his recipes. His introduction to Cherry Heering? “We were in Paris in 2004 for a presentation at the Bar Rouge during the Spirits & Cocktails event. I met Tomek Roher from the Gabinet Bar in Warsaw who was presenting ‘Dodek’, a twist on the Manhattan that uses Cherry Heering. That drink impressed me so much that I decided to add it to the cocktail menu in my bar, and it’s still there today. For the Cherry Heering bicentenary I drew my inspiration from an event in 1962 that involved my country.”

History as inspiration

“In 1962”, continues Bar “the Six-Day War broke out. Israel had to defend itself from six enemy armies that set to destroy it. It won that war in six days. I wasn’t inspired by a particular sense of flavour, which at the time – the country had only been formed 19 years earlier –the Israelis had not yet developed.”So then?“I based my recipe on the use of a young spirit produced by the first Israeli whisky distillery. The purity of that spirit reminds me of the young Israel of the time.”An exemplary metaphor! “The drink’s flavour profile reflects the problematic situation that this victory created for Israel: on the one hand it was a sweet victory, saving the country and its people from total destruction, while on the other, it left a bitter, sour taste caused by an ongoing situation defining the lives of millions of Palestinians as a result, in a continuous struggle for a better future for all. The blazing method is a perfect metaphor for this situation and how it got us to where we are”.

 Bartending of the future according to Bar Shira

“To me a trend is just that, a trend! Trends have revolutionized the sector but I don’t become a slave to them, to me they’re in the background. I think the bar industry is ready for a post-revolution where bartenders focus only on positive vibes and excellent drinks that are far removed from that exaggerated need to impress at every cost. I’d also like those who go into hospitality not to think that it’s a fallback job, perhaps to pay for your studies. It’s a real job, which offers good, rewarding and satisfying career opportunities. If those coming into the industry thought this way, everyone would benefit.”

In Israel the future is yet.

 The Six Days Blaze

30ml Cherry Heering

30ml Milk & Honey white unaged Whisky

15ml Aperol

5ml Palo Cortado Sherry

Glassware: Rocks

Method: Pour all ingredients in a rocks glass and Blaze



Gee David & 1973 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Hayden Wood

As the National Training Manager for the Fine Drinks Movementin SydneyAustralia, Gee is at the forefront of providing new and innovative training programs for the current & next generations of Australian bartenders.

With over 20 years service to the liquor industry, he has distilled his knowledge into The FDM (Fine Drinks Movement) a multi tiered training program that combines online and real world education for the time-poor but digitally savvy modern bartender.

Spreading knowledge of the latest trends alongside classic bartending skills is Gees passion. His development of the Fine Drinks Movement training program is testament to his enthusiasm for educating both the basic skills and more advanced innovation required by the modern bartender; The vision is to create a community of passionate liquor industry professionals and to reach a massive kind of network of like minded bartenders and industry folk on a global level, if you like. It’s one of those things I hope should generate its own community. It’s something for career bartenders to enjoy and to be involved in but it’s there really for those who want to improve themselves, their knowledge and skills to really develop and flourish in their role.

 When Gee started bartending, the industry was solely reliant on recipe books and face to face on the job training and he is very conscious of not losing the personal touch.

 His program relies on industry professionals and successful working bartenders to share their knowledge to a much wider audience than was possible in the 1990s.

 It’s just an extension of what we do. It’s really a reaction to what the world is doing in terms of education. We’re all looking online. We’re all searching for history of, and how to’s. All we’re doing is putting our knowledge together into one place so that we can share the history and knowledge of what weve gathered through our years of experience of bartending. We speak a language that people understand and really the engagement is about that. It’s about allowing a community of like-minded people to feel like they’re a part of a wider family where best practice can be shared.

 Gee chose 1973 from the 200 years of Heering because it was the year of the official opening of the world famous Sydney Opera House and the year that Gee was born.

 It was his passion for training that gave Gee his abiding memory of Cherry Heering; I was working for a company called Bar Solutions, and it was my job to travel to Singapore to educate a group of some 12 bartenders that were just about to open up a venue there. We finished up a day of hard work behind the bar making tinctures and syrups so I decided that I’d go off and do the touristy walk and rocked up at the Raffles Hotel where I had a little trip down memory lane – sitting at the bar, sipping on a Singapore Sling throwing peanut shells on the floor and imagining what it would have been like for Ngiam Tong Boon in 1915.

Gees Heering Bicentennial cocktail revolves around a growing trend among international bartenders sourcing and foraging domestic fruits and herbs to produce uniquely local and indigenous flavoured tinctures and syrups to compliment famous international brands like Cherry Heering.

“ Exploring the use of Native ingredients, sustainability, community and ‘doing the right thing’ is a great movement in Australia being championed by guys like Something Wild Beverages.

 Hailing from Wales and settling in New South Wales, Gee sees unlimited opportunities in native Australian ingredients; I think it is a sign of the way things are going in this country.  I’ve only been living here since 2009, but the abundance of flora & fauna here is incredible. We have access to an amazing mix of all sorts of colours and flavours and aromas. True Australian flavours are right here, they’ve been here for centuries but they just havent been used. Im definitely noticing a recent shift into the idea of introducing native ingredients on a much wider scale in cooking as well as bartending.

We have the ability to call on communities that have been harvesting certain plants for hundreds of years. We know close to nothing about the ways of living in a community with indigenous people. We can go to the Northern Territory or just around Darwin and be able to source a particular style of fruit or vegetable that has been enjoyed locally for generations. It’s an incredible thing. I think it’s definitely something that the community of bartending is beginning to embrace.” 

 He sees parallels with Fine Drinks Movement with the construction of the Sydney Opera House the iconic symbol of his adopted home; In a very modest round about way I can understand the analogy – Jørn Utzon, the designer of the Opera House was tasked with building an entertainment venue even though plenty existed already but he tried to give a fresh and innovative spin to it. Were trying to do the same thing with training programmes pass on age old knowledge in a fresh, innovative way.

For me it’s really all about a part of my journey as well, because from a 16 year old boy falling in love with the stories of spirits on the back of bottles in my mums bottle shop to my first cocktail in the Greek Islands, to working, training and living in various bars across the world.  I’m happy to have been able to create an education platform that scores of younger bartenders can gather more information at the touch of a button that took me 25 years to get!


30ml Green Ant Gin

20ml Cherry Heering

10ml Quandong, Bush Apple and Native thyme reduction* 

10ml Sunrise lime juice to taste

Top with a Lemon myrtle foam

Garnish with an apple fan (shaped like the Opera house)

Glassware: Coupe

 Method: Shake first 4 ingredients vigorously with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe glass (add egg whites for the foam and charge in a syphon and pre chill

Garnish:Apple cut into chevirons like Opera House sails. Placed upright on side of glass

*To create the sous vide or crockpot slow cook until syrup like 



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