The DRiNK Awards 2020: Of Hopes And Ponies

Drink Awards 2020 | Food For Thought

The bar industry in Asia is rapidly growing, in spite of the current situation, but nevertheless, our spirits remain pure and high. This year the DRiNK Awards was held at the Jing-An Shangri-La in West Shanghai, bringing the brightest and best across the dragon nation, as well as bars across Asia.

The DRiNK Awards: Bars in China and Beyond

The DRiNK Awards can be broadly generalised in to two categories, within China, and outside China, for the greater Asian region. The Winners within China are decided by a panel of over 200 industry professionals except the Entrepreneurs Award and Founders Award, those are by a panel of specialists, while the Winners of Asia are decided by a panel of 150 industry professionals across Asia.

Hope & Sesame | Bar of the Year | Drink Awards 2020 | Food For Thought

The DRiNK Awards: The China Awards

Within China, the awards are divided into various categories including 4 Regional Bar of the YearScandal in Beijing (North), Hope & Sesame in Guangzhou (South), Sober Company in Shanghai (East) and Flavor Tiki in Chongqing (West). Winner of the Bar Team Award goes to E.P.I.C. in Shanghai with Ethan Liu 刘明winning Bartender of the Year while Bar of the Year goes to Hope & Sesame.

“What a night at DRiNK awards! Since almost 5 years ago, we always tried to drive ourselves to do better and go further, last night, receiving for the second time, bar of the year, was extremely rewarding for our entire team as everyone have been working hard non-stop and things have evolved a lot with the opening of our two new bars. With Hope & Sesame, we try to develop cocktails that are pushing boundaries in terms of flavor profile, inspiration and purpose, above all we spend a lot of effort to create a sense of home and memorable experience, regardless our guests are cocktails novice or speakeasy hunters. It’s an ever-evolving venue, we actually just closed two days ago and for about 12 days to upgrade and renovate a lots of area of the bar. Hope to welcoming you soon in Guangzhou in the town we all call home!” — Bastien Ciocca, Hope & Sesame, Guangzhou, China.

Bannie Kang | Bartender of the Year | Drink Awards 2020 | Food For Thought

The DRiNK Awards: The Asia Awards

Bartender of the Year (Asia) goes to Mü based Bannie Kang in Taipei while Bar Team (Asia) and Bar of the Year (Asia) goes to Singapore’s very own Jigger & Pony. In these difficult times that people in the industry are still being recognised for their hard work.

“As for our bar there is no special programs we are focusing but only thing that our bar are focusing at was grooming the young on how to improve hospitality and personality and that was more important then programs as for now. Winning this award was a reminder to myself that I need to work harder and better as I will be represented Asia.” — Bannie Kang, Mu:, Taipei, Taiwan.

Jigger & Pony | Bar of the Year (Asia) | Drink Awards 2020 | Food For Thought

“To be recognised by our industry peers for Bar of the Year (Asia) 2020 and Bar Team (Asia) 2020 is an incredible honour. This year has been a challenging one for our industry and full of uncertainty. Nevertheless, we are continuously working harder to better ourselves, to innovate and emerge from this period stronger than before. We are glad that those efforts are being appreciated by our industry peers, and hope that they motivate others as much as they have motivated us.

Jigger & Pony delivers on convivial hospitality. We aim to be welcoming to our guests in a setting that is full of laughter and energy. The bar is located in Amara Hotel Singapore in Tanjong Pagar, the spiritual home of the Singapore cocktail scene. As an independent cocktail bar inside an international hotel, we seek to become the living-room of the city, where you will feel immersed in the vibrancy of cosmopolitan and diverse Singapore. The cocktail program is anchored in classic cocktail culture with plenty of creative flourish. The menu itself is presented in an editorial magazine-style menu. The current edition “The Decade Ahead” highlights the passion and healthy dose of positivity that draw people into cocktails. Starting from the basics, we explore simple, clean flavours that hold more depth than meets the eye. We also gain inspiration across borders and industries, teaming up with kindred spirits from across the globe and beyond the bartending industry.”  — Indra Kantono, Jigger & Pony, Singapore


A Gan Bei To All The Winners

A huge congratulations to all winners in China and those in Asia for their exceptional performance in the past 12 months. From Hope & Sesame’s meticulous take on environmental sustainability to the Jigger & Pony’s outstanding performance throughout the year, we tip our hats.

For the complete list of winners, please see Drink Awards 2020.


Nicholas Ng

Nicholas Ng is a restaurant critic, travelogue and opinion columnist which is curated on Food For Thought. He has been a freelance writer for 10 years and has previously worked as a lawyer. He currently is the Principal Counsultant of A Thoughtfull Consultancy.

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