Class of 2022

Jackwing Yao, Lola Liu and Tiger Liang

Hospitality Pioneers

31, 30, 27 / Guangzhou and Shenzhen, China

The bartending trio bringing Chinese culture into modern mixology

Three mixologists each blazing their own trail in Chinese cocktail-making, Jackwing Yao, Lola Liu and Tiger Liang are setting a new standard not only for young female bartenders but also for drinks-making in Asia and beyond. Jackwing, Lola and Tiger work respectively for SanYou in Guangzhou, Hope & Sesame in Shenzhen and Hope & Sesame in Guangzhou, all part of hoteliers Bastien Ciocca and Andrew Ho’s Hope Group. The three women make room in their shakers for traditional Chinese spirits and products, introducing infusion and distillation techniques to create modern haute mixology drinks that remain connected with Chinese culture and traditions. Hope Group challenges itself to create new cocktail menus constantly, adapting during the pandemic by developing a canned cocktail delivery service. At Hope & Sesame Guangzhou, China’s first speakeasy and a regular in the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, Tiger creates drinks inspired by Cantonese culture and local products, upcycling food leftovers and using seasonal fruits and herbs from the bar’s small garden. She describes herself as a risk-taker, always open to experimentation and using the bar as a testing ground.

At SanYou, Jackwing is on a mission to change people’s perceptions of baijiu, a strong, traditional Chinese liquor made from sorghum that is usually associated with older generations and is seldom used in cocktails. In Shenzhen, Lola explores the potential of low-alcohol drinks as part of China’s burgeoning health movement, believing they open a world of possibilities for flavours and pairing with food. Together, the three women represent an exciting, innovative and limitless future for cocktail-making and bartending in China.

“By coming up with new, innovative ways as a global community, we will put an end to food waste and make every bartender and restaurant sustainable.” – Tiger Liang
“Being a bartender and a bar manager is not an easy task, but it’s certainly a rewarding one. Having your team around and working together to accomplish a common goal is the boost you need to achieve greatness.” – Jackwing Yao
“Bartending isn’t about memorising drink recipes; it’s about creating great experiences for your guests so they want to come back.” – Lola Liu

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