In the developed world we take it for granted that cocktail culture is interwoven into our lives.
In Europe, North America as well as other mature markets, cocktail culture has provided us with new entrepreneurs, stunning new bars, amazing new spirits together with loads of innovations.
In SE Asia however we feel that the positive impacts of cocktail culture are going unnoticed.
Bartending has been a phenomenon everywhere, however in SE Asia the impact is tremendous as to many young bartenders, the “craft” is providing an escape from poverty, providing new trajectory.
Traditional Asian social structures are built around family and village– whereby a bartender in a large city such as Ho Chi Min, Jakarta or Manila may come from another city or island far away, repatriating monies home to dependants and village communities.
In a sense the success of the individual bartender translates into success for families and communities too!
To the tens thousands of bartenders making a contribution to the Asian hospitality industry, their reach and impact is far greater than most realise.
Quite possibly in the not too distant future more and more English speaking SE Asians bartenders will leave their countries of origin and start travelling the world to countries now desperate for hospitality staff.
Ironically stories such as these tend to get overlooked by the Politics that surrounds the liquor industry. Suffice to say being a bartender makes all of us proud , with positive impacts too easily overlooked.