I’ve seen ‘em come, I’ve seen ‘em go. And go…
Cocktail bars in KL tend not to do too well, tho they start pretty ambitious. I have several explanations for this.
The main one is the pricing system in this country. On top of the govt tax, bars and clubs mark-up their drinks 100% easy, and many even mark-up 200%! Cocktails? Probably 300%.
Why mark-up so highly? Because they do. And anyway you’d probably blame the government for the high prices.
(If they use cheap-shit alcohol, mark up is 1000+ %)
Hence, people prefer to buy bottles of spirits – more bang for your buck. Higher ROI. If everybody bought individual drinks all their lives, all drinkers wd be broke by now. Cocktails? Double-broke.
So we’re so used to keeping things simple – a bottle of whisky, a pitcher of Coke or water. Done deal. Vodka? Orange or cranberry. That’s as complicated as the cocktails get for the general population.
Another major factor is the local F&B industry have really fucked things up. Many bars are stingy, and instead of using regular spirits in their cocktails, they use cheap-ass moonshine from Klang, meaning the cocktails taste like cock. Malaysian have gotten used to crap cocktails because of this, and so are not into it anymore. Besides shit taste, u could earn yorself a good hangover.
So-called popular bars do this too, so better check next time ur there. And many bars also use crap mixers, even if they use premium spirits. What’s the point?
U wanna pay 20-30 bucks for a piece of shit?
As for me, even tho i’m all over the goddam place, i’ve rarely come across really good-tasting cocktails, even by good bartenders using good shit. 80% are unbalanced and not smooth. Most are too sour, many are too sweet. One sip may be fine, but then finishing the whole glass is a different story. It can be a struggle!
What a waste of alcohol. And a waste of hard-earned money.
I think these bartenders need to drink their own cocktails a lot more, and not dip a skinny-ass straw into it and have a tiny sample. Of course most cocktails taste fine like that. Drink the whole glass. Or three.
Some bars even hire clueless foreigners! But i’ve already talked about this before.
I usually reserve cocktail-making for my house parties or travel or my blog parties.
I’ve done a better job than some of these guys if i say so myself, with my Kelapa Rock (coconut water-based cocktail) and Brown Brown (Milo-ais based cocktail), among others. Easy, tasty.
At the moment, the better-known cocktail bars are View Bar, 21 and Tate. Be prepared to pay high prices.
One of the longest-living and coolest cocktail lounge was Chill. It was real smooth. Great cocktails, reasonable prices, great chilled Ibiza and Hed Kandi tunes in the afternoon/evening (and soul/funk house later at night, courtesy of DJ me!), funky decor, cool guys, and hot chicks. It had a good four-year run, but was ahead of its time.
I look forward to cocktail bars for mainstream drinkers, with good mixers, normal-standard spirits, reasonable prices, balanced-tasting drinks, cool decor, and innovative bartenders. O yea, solid tunes too.