For our fifth installment of our home bar series, we spoke to As’ad Isnin, Food and Beverage Manager at KOMYUNITI Singapore. Despite being in the middle of Orchard Road, the bar is a hidden secret located on the 10th floor of YOTEL Singapore. As its name alludes, KOMYUNITI was created with the intention of being an open, common space for guests to enjoy, whether it’s to dine, relax or even get some work done.
The award-winning mixologist has provided us with a few tips for beginners wanting to make basic cocktails at home, along with simplified instructions on how to make the signature KOMYUNITI cocktail.
KOMYUNITI’s Signature Kompliment Cocktail
Kompliment is a purple Gin Sour that represents the colour of YOTEL. As’ad has given us a simplified recipe that can be created with home-made ingredients: Butterfly Pea Flower-infused gin, freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar syrup, Aquafaba and flower water.
“Shake it up and pour it all into a wine glass with no ice. Then spray it with your infused flower water — and that’s our simplified Kompliment cocktail.”
Home Made Butterfly Pea Flower-Infused Gin
“You can get dry butterfly pea flowers from baking shops, and just infuse it. At the bar, we use a machine so we can absorb the colour well, but if you do it at home, just putting the flowers into any cheap gin and leaving it for half an hour is enough. The gin will definitely turn into a blue-ish colour — then you just have to strain it.”
Home Made Sugar Syrup
“It’s just castor sugar, equal parts of sugar and boiled water. Dilute the sugar with water and that’s it — stir it up and it’ll become sugar syrup.”
Home Made Aquafaba Alternative
“You can substitute Aquafaba with egg whites, which you’ll have at home. You just have to separate the egg yolk and egg whites, and just whisk the egg whites and add them in.”
Home Made Flower Water
“At the bar, we have our own machine to create flavoured water, but when you’re at home just simplify it. This water is supposed to be the fragrance of the cocktail — you can infuse any fragrant flowers with water, soak the flowers in and leave it overnight. It does produce a floral fragrance, but it will only last for one day, so only make it on the particular day you want to prepare the cocktail.”
A Spoon The First Thing You Need
“As long as you have a spoon, you can make a basic cocktail. A long spoon and a tall glass are the ideal bar tools that you’ll have at home. Of course, in a bar, we have different kinds of sugar, bitters, our own prepared garnishes. But for a basic drink like an Old Fashioned, you just need three ingredients — any bourbon you have at home, sugar, and an orange. That’s it! You just stir it up with ice until it dilutes to your preference, then you garnish it.”
Two Drinks For Beginners
“It’s just equal parts bourbon, sugar, ice, and you just stir it up until it dilutes to your preference — then you garnish it with orange. That’s it. You can also add cherries, but you won’t always have them at home, so if you have the first 3 ingredients and a long glass and spoon, you can definitely make an Old Fashioned at home. It’s so easy.”
“You need gin, campari, and a sweet vermouth. You can get all three items at a supermarket, they’re so easy to find. It’s these three basic ingredients — you just need a tall glass and spoon, equal parts of the 3 ingredients, stir it up and garnish it with an orange. It’s simple, but it looks fancy, and it’s also classic.”
He’s Particular About Manhattans
“I am very particular with my classic cocktails, particularly Manhattans — some bars use rye whiskey, so it tends to be a little too peppery and spicy for me. I prefer my Manhattan if I do it on my own, so I can choose my own rye whiskey, and know how well to dilute it, for my own preference. Obviously, I don’t want to make it difficult for the bartenders, like “You need to stir it for 20 seconds”, y’know? (laughs) So I prefer to make my own Manhattan rather than ordering one at a bar.”
A Few Things To Keep In Mind While Bartending At Home
Keep It Simple
“New bartenders shouldn’t be too adventurous with their ingredients — they should focus on how to enhance the flavour of the main ingredient instead. For example, pineapple as a main ingredient — what actually goes well with pineapple? What kind of ingredients can enhance it? Some bartenders actually mix it up and they make the flavours confused. That happens a lot. It’s just like cooking. For example, if you want to cook a steak — the main ingredient should be steak. You wouldn’t add fish to the steak.”
Fresh Juice Is Better
“If somebody were to prefer a fruity cocktail, it’s best to have a juicer at home. If you have cheap vodka or gin and you don’t want to drink it on it’s own, you can mix it up with any fresh juice.”
Add citrus for balance
“With any juice you choose, always add a bit of citrus to get your cocktail balanced. For example, if you use red apple juice, it’s naturally sweet. So if you mix vodka and red apple juice, you’ll have to add in a little more citrus from a lemon, and that’s it. Even at the bar, to sell a quality cocktail, bartenders tend to use fresh ingredients. Use fresh juice, not bottled juice.”
KOMYUNITI is currently open for delivery, for both food and beverages. Bottled cocktails are available in 200ml servings. Try the classics As’ad mentioned like the KOMYUNITI Aged Manhattan and Old Negroni. You could also test out some of their signature cocktails, like the Missing Recipe, a refreshing drink made with Black Pepper Citrus Vodka, longan, clarified fermented apple and cacao, or Mellon Down, a Nomad-inspired cocktail featuring Melon Milk Washed-Whisky, Wine Cordial and fresh dill.