Antonio Lai

Where are you currently working?

I am currently based out of Hong Kong, where you can see me floating among the 6 venues in our bar group. Since each of the bars are within a stone’s throw away, I take the opportunity to walk to each one throughout the night

Within our group, we have Quinary, a multisensory cocktail bar, Ori-gin, which specialises in gin. Envoy is a terrace bar located inside a boutique hotel that also serves lunch and dinner. Nearby we also have Room 309 that takes inspiration from speakeasy style bars. At the high end, we have VEA, which is a fine dining restaurant and lounge, while at the other end we recently opened Draftland, which serves 22 cocktails on tap 

Tell us something about the industry we might not know!

Believe it or not, I can’t really drink alcohol, as I haven’t got much of a tolerance. I don’t find it to be much of a problem, as it means I can talk to my guests and show them a great time, which in the end makes me happy. Its one of the reasons I used to be a flair tender, but as I learned more about cocktails, I started to focus on making great tasting drinks. 

What is your favourite cocktail?

I can’t get enough of the Earl Grey Caviar Martini, and neither can our guests at Quinary. It’s been on the menu since we’ve first opened our doors in 2012 and to this day is still the best selling drink at QUINARY 

Ever had a bad-ass/rock n roll bartending moment?

There was a time when I was speaking at the Peru Barshow, I realized that there were over 300 bartenders from both ends of Peru in attendance. It was a heart-moving moment to see how dedicated, curious, and passionate these bartenders were to travel hundreds of miles to learn and discover.

Where will we find you on your nights off? 

You’ll find me at home kicking back with a videogame. At the moment I’m on Apex Legends.

If you weren’t tending bar, what would you be doing?

I’d like to think I could go quite far as a comedian.

What is your desert island bottle?

Water will be my best bet!  But I think a good nice whiskey will be good 

What is your hangover cure?

Water water and more water , errrrr maybe a bloody Mary

If you were gonna create a cocktail for BarChick, what would you make?

A bloody Mary twist, Shelley from Quinary (our team create a Tabasco syrup) - 500ml Tabasco water, 300g sugar + 10g citic acid, 20ml Tabasco syrup, 45ml re-distill wasabi vodka, 70ml clamato juice mix (v8/ fresh) 50/50.