Boozepimp of the Month – Yi Shawn

Boozepimp of the Month is a column that features respectable players in the alcohol industry. These are interesting personalities in the scene that have made a significant impact, or have the potential to do so.

(If u know of a candidate, u can lemme know).

It’s been a long time since i did the Boozepimp thing! Got a few more lined up.


The Boozepimp of the month is bartender Chong Yi Shawn, 25.

He’s the local champ of the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartending Competition 2011, and represented Malaysia this year, where he performed in New Delhi last month (It was won by Manabu Ohtake, from Tower’s Bar Bellovisto, Tokyo, whittled down from 10,000 around the world).

Winning the local competition gave  Shawn three months training. He’s won it twice so far.

He was a hospitality student who worked with Hilton KL in a restaurant before moving to the bar. Shawn is basically self-taught, learning on the job and via YouTube.

He might not look like one, with the specs n all, but he is a bartender. Shawn is currently freelancing.


1. So why did u become a bartender?

I enjoy it as it’s not a static job. You meet different people, make different drinks. Everyday is different. I like making drinks and making guests happy. Communication is important.


2. Yea man, communication and service. How was the event in New Delhi?

It was awesome. Four days. They treated the 34 of us like superstars.


3. Nice. If it was me, i wouldnt remember a damn thing. What were u judged on?

It was challenging. There were six challenges in total. Some of the criteria were the drinks we made, communication skills, product knowledge, technical skills, grooming and presentation.


4. So wadya think are your strengths and weaknesses as a barman

I think i’m very willing to learn, and i’m a fast learner. Weakness, maybe a lack of experience.

In competition

5. What kinds of cocktails do u like to drink and make?

Thus far i’ve created about 15-20. I like something i call Ignited Passion – Ron Zacapa rum, Grand Marnier, blackberry jam, home-made syrup, and lime and cranberry juice.


6. And you fave drinks?

Rum n Coke, Cuba Libre, Margharita, and cider.


7. Cider eh? Will let u try my brew sometime. And what cocktail would you recommend if someone wants something that tastes good, light-tasting on the alcohol, and gets them high in a hurry?

Hmm. I think Mai Tai, tho the recipe has been bastardized. The original is rum, lime juice, triple sec, and almond syrup. Or the Zombie.


8. How often do you drink and how many?

About once a month, with other bartenders.


9. What do u like about alcohol?

It’s unlimited what you can do with it.


10. Yea man. So many varieties. And what are the global trends for cocktails at the mo?

Looks like the Classic Cocktails are making a comeback.



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