On February 7 and 8, Fairmont Pacific Rim restaurant Botanist’s executive chef Hector Laguna and head bartender Jeff Savage will welcome Singapore’s award-winning cocktail bar Manhattan, currently ranked No. 33 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, for a two-night sensory cocktail-paired dinner, followed by a one-night Guest Bar In-Residence pop-up at The Lobby Lounge & Rawbar on February 9. We chatted with Jeff to learn more. —Noa Nichol
Please tell us about the upcoming Manhattan Bar event at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. What and when is it?
We have partnered with Manhattan, a fantastic bar in Singapore—which is ranked 9th on Asia’s 50 Best Bars List and 33 on the World’s 50 Best Bars List—to create an experience that highlights both Singapore and Vancouver. We’ve created a list of six cocktails, and chef Hector Laguna has built dishes to compliment these drinks. We’ll be hosting Manhattan for this exclusive experience for just two nights and can’t wait to showcase what we’ve come up with.
We hear there are six cocktails being featured in the collaborative menu for the event, and that you’ll be creating three of them. Can you tell us about the drinks, and the collaborative creation process?
Our drinks are inspired by the cities we live in—both Singapore and Vancouver. Each of our cocktails are based around an iconic personality of either Vancouver or Singapore, and aim to not only pay homage to our homes and their history, but also to educate and delight our guests. Each of our teams has three drinks on the menu, and the collaborative work we did together was just to make sure we were on the same page, and to let each of our identities shine through. I don’t want to give too much away, but my drinks connect traditional asian flavours like nashi pear, gao pei, chrysanthemum and ginseng with new world Vancouver ingredients such as candy cap mushroom, oak moss, and Douglas fir. Manhattan’s cocktails pay homage to classic drinks like the Manhattan and the Gimlet, while succinctly highlight their culture utilizing beautiful flavours of kumquat, dill, coffee and black cardamom.
Which of the six drinks is your favourite, if you can choose one?
Tough to say, as I love all of the drinks, but one that stand out for me is Manhattan’s Little Red Dot, which is a Milk punch using The Macallan, coffee liqueur, raspberry, curaçao, rhubarb and champagne
Why should people attend this event?
It’s an amazing opportunity to see one of the world’s best bars come right to our neighbourhood, and collaborate to create a unique, one off event. I am not sure when the next time any of us will be able to go to Singapore and sit down in Manhattan, so having the opportunity to meet their team and taste their drinks in our hometown is such a gift. I am a massive fan of Chef Hector’s food, and to see the menu he has come up to masterfully pair with our drinks is unreal. This is a one-off experience with a menu that will never be repeated again, and to see the passion each of us involved has brought to the table is truly wonderful. I can’t wait to execute our shared vision, and to showcase what the best of Singapore and Vancouver have to offer.