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Samuel Kwok

Signature Cocktail
14 years
Experience

Bar codex Samuel Kwok

A bartender is just like a chef. Unlike a chef, though, we always see our guests’ reactions. We can also improvise on the spot, depending on the guest’s wishes.

If a guest is observing how you work, that means that they’re curious – and more likely than not, they’re ready to try something interesting.

I really love tattoos. They’re like cocktails: they give you the chance to share something with other people, even strangers.

I always try to achieve a complicated taste, one that lingers in the mouth for a long time.

For me personally, a cocktail’s presentation and appearance isn’t that important. I’m all for external simplicity and complexity of taste. But now in the social media generation, you can’t just ignore presentation. Sometimes, a single good photo can bring in dozens of new clients. 

When you work behind the bar day after day and do the same thing over and over again, the passion unavoidably leaves you. Therefore, I always tell me co-workers: go to good restaurants and to the markets, search for new ingredients, and get inspired!

The most important qualities of a good bartenders are passion for their work and good English.

After my shift, I always go straight home. I get too tired to go to some other bar.

The first thing I look at in a bar is furniture. For me, it’s the most important thing for creating atmosphere. It shouldn’t just be beautiful, but comfortable, too. If a chair isn’t comfortable – for example, too low or too high – it’s a shame.

During a shift, there shouldn’t be any surprises: we prepare very carefully every day, and check all the drinks and ingredients. Unforeseen situations simply cannot happen, and if they do, I can get really mad.

A bar’s success has nothing to do with perfection in everything; it’s a question of balance. Atmosphere, service, menu, food, lighting, music: by themselves, they can all be perfect, but everything needs to “just work” together.

Signature Hit Samuel Kwok cocktail Tiger Lily

Signature Hit Samuel Kwok cocktail Tiger Lily

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