On the ground floor of The Working Capitol is Neon Pigeon, a modern urban izakaya inspired by the world of flavours found in the hidden spots of Tokyo and the underground culture of buzzing cities like New York and Hong Kong. The Neon Pigeon bar plays an integral part in its underground feel, and in turn, Bar Manager, Symphony Loo, plays an integral part behind that bar.

Symphony’s bartending journey began at the One-Ninety Bar by Javier de la Muelas at the Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore. She’s since come a long way, and recently placed in the Top 20 of the Diageo World Class Competition. We caught up with Symphony to chat about the art of bartending and her one must-try cocktail.

What is your favourite thing about bartending?

I have always had a passion for everything related to the hospitality industry, especially Food & Beverage, maybe because I love to cook and bartending is pretty much like cooking. A challenge I also like about bartending is that you never know how the drink will turn out until after it’s made.

What, in your opinion, is needed for an excellent drink?

For me, a great cocktail comes from the whole experience: the visual, fragrance, taste and concept; none of these can be left out when comes to crafting drinks.

What is one cocktail you would highly recommend?

It has to be a Negroni. A good Negroni has flavours that linger in my mouth, and the drink is bitter and sweet at the same time. There is also a touch of smoked rosemary and an orange twist for a clean finish.

Recently I created a twisted Negroni for Negroni week. It was a Japanese-influenced take on the Negroni features, with rosemary, umeshu as well as shiso and pineapple-infused sake to replace the gin component. Campari and Mancino Rosso Amaranto vermouth were stirred in before it was topped up with Prosecco. Then, rosemary smoke was piped into the tear-shaped glassware and stoppered before the drink was served. If you’re not already a Negroni lover, I recommend you give a try.

Neon Pigeon has launched an exciting new drinks menu that will put its Japanese-influenced spin on classic cocktails. TWC members enjoy one-for-one drinks from 6pm to 7pm and 10% off food and drink.

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