Hutch is the co-owner with Yi Jun of No Sleep Club in Singapore. She makes us two cocktails, one with Absinthe and Cognac and the second with Hay and Whisky.
Hutch introduce yourself
I’m Hutch and I started in the industry accidentally. I used to work in production and when I wrapped a job, Desiree from 28 Hong Kong Street asked if I could help out one weekend. That turned out to be the longest weekend of my life, as I stayed for four years and moved from the floor to the bar, then management. I later joined EC Proof Company (part of the same group) which focused on events and masterclasses. Now we have opened No Sleep Club, which is a mix of my classic cocktail background and Jun who is more creative with a fine gastronomy background. Together, we try to make our drinks affordable and understandable. We are complementary in what we like and the way we work. She is in a creative bubble when I am more in an operations bubble. The name for this place comes from the fact that we serve coffee and cocktails. Caffeine to keep you awake during the day and cocktails to boost you at night. And we incorporated the word Club because we wanted it to be like a clubhouse where everyone can come and hang out. We are open from 8am and the earliest someone has ordered a cocktail is 8.30am. We also have a food menu for the day and an evening, so people wonder if we are a cafe, a bar, or a restaurant. We like to check all the boxes and go big or go home. I am happy because there are more and more bars like us, which are owned by locals and our neighbourhood is important too. This street is very supportive, we have a group chat where everyone can ask for help, and that’s great.
The classic you want to show us
30ml of Rye Whiskey
30ml of Cognac
10ml of Simple Syrup
Spray of Absinthe
The bar you dream of
My dream bar would be built around two spaces, for around 80 people. Jun’s side would be a super clean-cut, monochrome space and mine would feature feather boas and disco balls. It would allow customers to choose their ambience and it’s a nice balance, like Ying and Yang. The drinks would be clean with no over the top garnishes, but the glassware would be funkier. Of course I’d want food, so people stayed longer or sober up if needed. It would be in Melbourne where the industry is great, Jun has family and we could get married.
What do you do in your time off
After just opening this place, I’d have to say sleep (I’m so committed to the brand ;)). At the moment if I do get time off I do anything to unwind, like a massage or cupping or read a book.
The spirit you like the most
It’s tequila. Because it’s the only spirit that’s an upper and elevates the taste of a drink. I like to think of it as pumped up vodka.
What makes a good cocktail
A good cocktail is about balance and if you can taste all the ingredients. You need to have a start, a middle and a finish like a rollercoaster.
What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I think it would be salt. When something is unbalanced, the salt rounds the whole flavour. Like for a dish you seasoning.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
Hay and Apple
40ml of Toasted Hay Whisky (sous vide)
15ml of Fermented Apples with Chamomile and Honey
30ml of Clarified Red and Green Apple Juice
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
In Singapore you should go to Junior, the pocket bar to interview Joe and Old Man to see Annette. If you go to Melbourne, you need to visit the Butterfly Room.