Vijay Mudaliar: Native (Singapore)

Vijay Mudaliar is the co-founder of Native in Singapore. He makes two cocktails for us, one with Sochu and Yuzu and the second with Rum and Gula Melaka .

Vijay introduce yourself
My name is Vijay Mudaliar and I’ve been bartending in various types of bars, for the last 11 years. I was working at Operation Dagger when I decided to open my own place with a partner in 2016. Here at Native it’s all about local… local products, local spirits (like Indian rum, Thai whisky and many others) and we also forage locally. The furniture is made by a local carpenter, our cups are made by local craftspeople, and even the music we play here has a local flavour.

The classic you want to show us
Oolong Highball
50ml of Sochu
10ml of Yuzu Distillate
120ml of Oolong Kombucha

The bar you dream of
My dream bar is Native. I wouldn’t change anything because I am not a fan of high budget bars. I work in my city with friends who I grew up with and that’s all I need.

What do you do in your time off
I go hiking or spend time with my partner and watch movies on Netflix. I like to cocoon, it’s important for me.

The spirit you like the most
Right now I am very excited by Arak. Arak means spirits in Sanskrit and you can find it in different parts of the world, but they are made differently. In the Middle East, Greece and Turkey it mainly has an anise flavour. In india it’s made with coconut flowers and in Indonesia, each state has its own way to make it: molasses, red rice or a blend of two or three ingredients. In the end it’s a kind of terroir approach. It’s using great raw materials to make a spirit and after that it’s about the distillation process. To me, it feels like Mezcal 15 years ago, no one wanted it and now it”s the top of the top. I think Arak has the same potential.

What makes a good cocktail
Here we try to have an honest approach. Ingredients are important for their history, similar to those used in cuisine. There is always a reason we use certain ingredients.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I love to use simple products that people know here like jackfruit or candlenut. Something people eat everyday here but wouldn’t expect to have in a cocktail. Right now my favourite ingredient is Kalamansi.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
250ml of Indian Rum
10g of Galangal
1g of Laksa Leaves
10g of Tamarind
1g Dried Pandan
10g of Candlenut
5g of Gula Melaka

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
You need to go to Operation Dagger and try their natural wines and Ku Bar in Cuba.


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