Tony Lin: Testing Room by Draft Land (Taipei)

Tony Lin is the Head Bartender of Testing Room by Draftland in Taipei. He makes us two cocktails, one with Bourbon and Barley Tea Kombucha and the second with Gin and Homemade Jasmine Tea Syrup.

Tony introduce yourself
I’m Tony Lin and when I was studying food and beverage, I decided to join the student cocktail club and never looked back. I began my career working in one of the biggest nightclubs in Taipei in 2014. I wanted to learn more about cocktails and moved to a hotel bar in 2015 where Nick Wu and Ueno San were consultants and trained me. In the hotel, I learnt a lot about bartending techniques, cocktails and concepts thanks to them. In 2019 I joined Draft Land and the Testing Room to learn and create different types of cocktails.
Downstairs is Draft Land our main space and here on the first floor, we have the Testing Room. Every season we change our concept and currently, it’s about autumn. Our menu has a traditional Japanese presentation with three different colours to symbolise the three phases in autumn from beginning to end. Green is about fruity aroma, yellow is spicier and woody and grey prepare us for winter, with more powerful cocktails. The most popular drinks go down to be served on tap, like Deep Fall which I’ll make for you.

The classic you want to show us
Deep Fall
40ml of Bourbon Whiskey
4 Dashes of Patchouli Tincture
40ml of Barley Tea Kombucha
10ml of Cardamon Syrup
7.5ml of Lemon Juice

The bar you dream of
My dream bar would a small place for around 20 people in my hometown near Taipei. I’d like a bar where I could use my experience to help customers discover cocktails. It would be cosy like here, with minimal techno music for the ambience and I would serve fusion bar food.

What do you do in your time off
I like to go to coffee shops to chill and research new information about the F&B industry. Otherwise, I enjoy drinking in cocktail bars with friends.

The spirit you like the most
I like whisky because it offers such a diverse range of products. From bourbon to Islay or Speyside scotch, whisky offers you so much variety to work with. I prefer peaty and smoky whiskies, as they add earthy notes to the drink which I like.

What makes a good cocktail
It’s all about balance. Sweet or sour, bitter or fruity. Balancing all of these makes the cocktail.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
My ingredient would be amaro because it’s complex, bitter and sweet at the same time with wonderful woody notes. Using it in a cocktail adds a lot of flavours and complexity.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
45ml of Gin
15ml of Red Guava Aperitif
5ml of Burdock Fernet
2 Dashes of Smoke Islay Whisky

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
Here in Taipei, you have to go to Aha Saloon, Room by Le Kief and Washu. In Tainan, in the South of Taiwan, go to Bar Home and TCRC.

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