- In this short interview, chief mixologist Bryan Bonaficio of Employees Only SG tells Gurgl about coming to India, the rise of Asian gins and why Indian bars are ready to take on the world
Bryan Bonaficio’s affable personality is hard to miss. He could be making three cocktails at the same time and yet, his charming smile will never leave his face. At a bar takeover in Mumbai’s Koko followed by a tour to Delhi to talk about and make delicious cocktails with Código1530 Tequila along with the brand’s Justin Tan and importer Anggel’s Share, Bryan made sure that everyone had a good time.
His exclusive cocktails, such as Lolita a refreshing blend of Codigo Blanco, Cognac, Ripe Mango Ginger and Hazelnut; Lazy Boy with Codigo Rosa, Tomato Water, Jalapeno Chartreuse, Fresh Lime juice and Agave Nectar; Besos Caliente with Codigo Blanco, Fresh Lime and Grapefruit Cordial among others were the talk of the night as well.
Excerpts from an interview with Bryan:
- Tell us more about coming to India and what you’re planning to do
The plan is to actually enjoy and learn while I’m here. It’s going to be my first time travelling after 2 years of being stuck in Singapore (thanks to the pandemic) so I can’t express how excited I am to visit India.
- What are some signature EO cocktails you’re planning to introduce patrons to?
Patrons will have a chance to enjoy some Employees Only Signatures from both our New York and Singapore branches.
- What are some benefits of working with Código 1530 during these bar takeovers?
They gave me an opportunity to travel and learn while I could showcase the skillset I hone back in Singapore. The support from Código 1530 is pretty impeccable.
- What are some tequila trends you’ve seen in Singapore over the last couple of years?
It’s the progressive creativity of certain venues in how they approach flavours together with agave spirits.
- Tell us more about the Mixology Masterclass you’ve planned
It’s more of understanding the fundamentals of bartending. And certain details about how we prep things at Employees Only.
- What is your own experience of tequila cocktails in general and Código 1530 in particular?
As I generally love tequila, Código 1530 makes it easier for me to introduce to people the spirit. The brand has it all – from informative tasting and a very inspirational back story.
- Indian bars are now winning awards at Top Bar ceremonies. How do you look at the bar culture in the country?
India is so promising, and I’m not going to be surprised if they will take over the bar scene in both Asia and the world. The best combination to describe India is the people and culture here.
- Any bars that are on your list during your current visit?
Bombay Canteen, Soho House, Koko, Americano Bombay, PCO & The Living Room.
- What are some other spirit trends that you’re seeing in Singapore and Asia?
I can definitely see the rise of agave spirits and Asian gins rocking some cool bars in Singapore.
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Priyanko Sarkar is the Founder Editor of Gurgl.in. He has been a writer for over 15 years and this site is his attempt to document India's growing beverage sector with impactful and interesting stories. His favourite drink is Vietnamese Coffee and his favourite spirit is Turkish Raki.