The Yum List gets the inside scoop on Callan C Green’s impression of the bar scene in KL and a few stories behind the scenes too…
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
Like many people I began bar backing (making the natural progression to bartender) as a means to an end, a way of paying bills and rent while studying. As I developed my skills and along with the realization there’s not a whole lot you can do with a theatre degree I came to the conclusion that the drinks industry was my true passion.
What’s the most interesting part of the job?
The most interesting part of working in bars/drinks industry is the people you meet. I’m an extrovert and getting to talk to people and hear their stories is fascinating.
What’s the worst part of your job?
The worst part has to be inconsistent hours, working ’til 4 or 5 in the morning and then sometimes having 9 am meetings the next day, lack of sleep comes with the territory.
What’s your favourite drink?
The obvious answer here is a Jack Rose (Applejack, Lemon and Homemade Grenadine), that said I’m a sucker for a good amaro!
Which venues do you frequent (other than your own)?
My favourite bar in KL is definitely Coley, great drinks, great service, can’t go wrong.
What’s one of the craziest things you’ve seen behind the scenes?
I’ve seen my fair share of terrifying violence in venues but that’s not really what we wanna talk about… I did, however, see a young lady polish off an entire bottle of west winds captains cut (63%) in one sitting and walk out without seeming drunk at all… Now I don’t condone irresponsible drinking but that was impressive.
The perfect day off would be…
…a broken phone.
A day in the life of a bartender is…
Well everyone is different but for me ‘cos I work day and night it involves little more than wake up, work, sleep, repeat but when you love what you do it’s easy.
What’s something you’d like guests to know about Jack Rose?
Jack Rose is about stories and reasons. The cocktail the Jack Rose was invented in 1910 but only made popular in 1926 when Hemmingway wrote about it in his book The Sun Also Rises. Like the Jack Rose we want our drinks to have stories and each of those stories relates back to the ingredients or flavours in the cocktail.
What’s your favourite food and beverage pairing?
It’d have to be wings and beer… Or maybe a nice big vintage bready champagne with nice bread and fried fois gras.
What’s your view on the KL bar scene?
KL’s scene has absolutely exploded recently, I have no doubt it’s gonna continue to grow too! More people drinking good drinks is the future.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
Well I’ve traveled quite a bit recently, so for the Xmas period it’s gonna be head down, getting things done!
What do you see as the way forward in Malaysia’s drinking scene?
For me the way forward is education, for industry folk and consumers alike. Getting people excited about the simple stuff, good classics and alike rather than worrying about unnecessary frills in drinks.