Andrew Ho: Hope & Sesame (Guangzhou)

Andrew Ho is the co-owner of Hope & Sesame in Guangzhou. He makes us two cocktails, one with Rum and Balsamic Vinegar Reduction and the second with Banana Liqueur and Cereal Milk.

Andrew introduce yourself
I’m Andrew, I grew up in Hong Kong and I studied at hotel school in Laussane, where I met Bastien, my partner in Hope & Sesame. After finishing, I worked in management at the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, until I met up with Bastien and we decided to do something together. Firstly we opened a Vietnamese restaurant because we are massive fans of the food, then we opened the Hope & Sesame (which has a garden, a fermentation room, a lab and an area for live music) and Charlie’s, an Italian style cafe, where we roast our own coffee, a pasta restaurant and aperitivo style bar. I think I am more and all-round F&B person, rather than purely a bartender, I love all aspects of hospitality.

The classic you want to show us
45ml of 12 years Flor de Cana Rum
20ml of Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
20ml of Angostura Bitters
10ml of Fresh Beet Juice
10ml of Lime Juice

The bar you dream of
I love cocktails and a show, so something like Sleep No More with cocktails. The story would revolve around ingredients and the customer would play a role… basically immersive theatre involving food and drinks. It would be a massive space located in one of my two favourite places right now, Melbourne or Porto. Definitely NO PHONES and you take a pill later and forget the whole thing.

What do you do in your time off
I like to spend time with the wife obviously (Andrew actually pointed to Bastien). No, my actual wife. I also play golf and am passionate about trying tasting menus in restaurants around the world. I get a lot of inspiration for my drinks from food.

The spirit you like the most
For me, it’s rum, as it’s so underrated. People always think of it in tiki-style or long drinks, but we like to showcase the spirit in other ways. It’s a great canvas for different spices and fruits and it’s just so diverse. You can make really light, delicate drinks, right through to boozy style cocktails.

What makes a good cocktail
For me taste is king. It has to be tasty and appeal to the broader public. I’m not shy of using sugar in various forms and of course, a drink must be balanced.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I like to use Kombucha, as it’s a great way of replacing traditional acidity like limes and lemons. I like the fermented, yeasty and sour flavour it adds to a drink.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Breakfast Milk Punch
40ml of Flor de Cana 12 years old Rum Fat Washed with Peanut Butter
10ml of Banana Liqueur
25ml of Cereal Milk
10ml of Lemon Juice
20ml of Charlie’s Coffee

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
You have to meet Jay Khan from COA who is a walking encyclopedia and very hospitable.

Thank you to Danico for letting us do this interview during Hope & Sesame’s guest shift.

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