Have you ever wondered what goes on inside the brains behind your favourite cocktails? What is their go-to snack when sipping on beer after a long shift? What cocktail trends would they like cancelled? And most importantly, what’s the hack to winning the best customer title?
We asked Matteo Cadeddu, head of bar programming at Opium Bar, Bangkok, all this and a lot more, as he sat down with us to discuss the Tanqueray No. Ten X Opium Bar collaboration.
Over a martini with mixologist Matteo Cadeddu
A cocktail trend you dislike.
Long Island. It’s just a mix of everything.
What’s your favourite bar snack?
At Opium Bar, we have a pork skewer which is amazing. That one, and I would say the shrimp toast.
What is your go-to meal after a long bar shift?
Given my belly, it’s probably McDonald’s. But being in Thailand I eat a lot of Thai food. Sometimes noodles or there is a typical dish called moo dad deaw. It’s basically sun-dried pork strips, deep fried. It’s amazing, and goes very well with bear.
Tell us about the collaboration between Tanqueray and Opium Bar.
We follow the same kind of philosophy in terms of the flavours. We work in China Town in Bangkok, so we play a lot with floral notes, which is along the lines of the core concept of Tanqueray No.Ten. I think it just aligns very well.
What is the most popular Tanqueray cocktail at Opium Bar?
Fluidity, with the yuzu is a very nice and interesting cocktail. The sourness of the yuzu and the cacao nibs liquor gives a nice warmth, finished off with a lavender mist on top.
What is the Tanqueray martini’s hero ingredient?
What we do is use bergamot. It gives a nice citrusy flavour, along with some floral notes. It goes very well with the Tanqueray No. Ten, and enhances its flavour.
Tell us about your best and worst customer experiences.
The best is when we go and have shots together. The worst is probably when we have too many shots.
What’s the one thing a person should never say to a bartender?
When I ask customers what cocktails they want, they say “Anything.” At least, I’d like to know some guidelines or preferences because anything can really be anything.
Cocktail experiments at Opium Bar – tell us more!
There are a few, and I’m probably the one pushing for the odd cocktails. Lately, we have been working with mushrooms. I also love working with cheese because I’m Italian. So, parmesan, maybe even blue cheese – I have a blue cheese martini on the menu, which is very nice.
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