Header image credit: COA
Altos Bartenders’ Bartender 2020 is a special award announced ahead of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020’s digital ceremony. The award recognises a personality who has made a significant impact on the bar industry and drinking scene in Asia and is voted for by bartenders on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020 list.
As we all know, the hospitality industry is in turmoil at the moment, with the bar industry being particularly affected. Following in the footsteps of the virtual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020, this year’s virtual countdown to Asia’s 50 Best Bars is designed to show recognition towards the bars and their teams’ hard work over the past year.
We’re thrilled that Hong Kong’s own Jay Khan, from beloved mezcal and tequila bar COA, has been named Altos Bartenders’ Bartender 2020. COA arrived on the Hong Kong bar scene in December 2017 and became a fast favourite thanks to the spot’s chic design and expert Oaxaca-style cocktails. COA was named Best New Bar (Readers’ Choice) at our Foodie Forks 2018 awards. It also placed at number 12 and won the Highest New Entry Award in Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019.
Khan, who was born in Hong Kong, began bartending 14 years ago across notable bars in Hong Kong and Melbourne, Australia. After a trip to Mexico, Khan developed a passion for agave spirits. Since then, Khan has undertaken extensive research and field trips, studying the harvesting and production processes of the agave plant through distillery visits across Mexico.
Mark Sansom, Content Editor for Asia’s 50 Best Bars, says, “Jay is rightly well respected among his peers, and his contribution to the bar scene in Asia is without question. His passion for sharing innovative cocktail experiences sends a positive ripple effect through the sector and makes him a well-deserved recipient of this year’s Altos Bartenders’ Bartender award. We know he will continue to inspire with much-needed optimism during this time and lead the industry to greater heights once recovery sets in.”
On winning the award, Khan says, “I have been blessed through my career with opportunities that allowed me to work alongside the best bartenders around the world. Winning the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender award is extremely meaningful because it is an affirmation from peers whom I have immense respect for. The industry may be going through a really difficult time now, but as long as we continue to stand together as a community and support each other, I am confident we can get through this and come out stronger.”
Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020 will be unveiled in a digital countdown on Thursday, 14 May, beginning at 7pm Singapore time. You can join the virtual awards ceremony on The World’s 50 Best Bars Facebook page and 50 Best Bars TV YouTube channel.
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