Jay Khan: COA (Hong Kong)

Jay Khan is the Bar Manager at COA in Hong Kong. He makes us two cocktails, one with Mezcal and Worm Salt and the second with Tequila and Orchata.

Jay introduce yourself
My name is Jay, I was born and raised in Hong Kong and I’ve recently opened my own bar name COA (which is a tool used to harvest agave). I started in the Food & Beverage industry twelve years ago on the floor and soon realised behind the bar was where I wanted to be. So I started in Karaoke Bar, where they hired because I could speak Cantonese. Then I moved to Australia in Melbourne for a year and when I returned to Hong Kong I work at Lily and Bloom where I first tried mezcal. I moved to Macau to work in a whisky bar that was opening and stayed two years. After working back in Hong Kong, I realised there was a gap in the market for a bar specialising in agave spirits, that’s how COA was born. I studied the spirit, bought loads of product and visited Mexico. All of the products I now stock, I’ve been to their distilleries and met the makers. We love introducing the Honk Kong community to the large variety of agave spirits.

The classic you want to show us
15ml of Tequila
15ml of Mezcal
5ml of Lime Juice
Top with Grapefruit Soda
Rim with Worm Salt

The bar you dream of
That’s easy my dream bar is half the size of COA, but with the same focus on agave spirits and small Mexican snacks. I’d like it to seat 25 with a Japanese style bar, so I could engage more with my customers.

What do you do in your time off
I try to spend time with my wife and my child.

The spirit you like the most
I like using equal parts of tequila and mezcal to tone down the intensity of the mezcal in my cocktails. I love to use aged tequila especially the Excellia anejo as it’s aged in cognac and sauterne barrels.

What makes a good cocktail
I think a good cocktail is about the passion of the bartender. Balance is mandatory, but passion adds that extra touch.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I enjoy using another dash of mezcal and worm salt. I’d add worm salt to everything if I could.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Orchata de Pistachio
40ml of Tequila
20ml of Orchata
20ml of Pistachio Orgeat
20ml of Lemon Juice
10ml of Whey

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
In Hong Kong you need to meet Devender at Otto e Mezzo, he was born to be a host. Also talk to Michael Callaghan at Employees only in Singapore. And finally, you need to go to Proof & Company and meet Zdenek.


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