Davide Boncimino on Trying Cocktails Out of Your Comfort Zone

How do you create a cocktail?
Words by

Madame Fan Bar is an extension of the restaurant Madame Fan, an endeavour by famed restaurateur Alan Yau. The 40-seater cocktail destination is not just another name on the long list of bars that we have in Singapore. Boasting 13 cocktails with an oriental twist, the curated menu will include Marshall - an award-winning cocktail from the 2017 edition of Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition mixed by their very own Head Mixologist Davide Boncimino.

The drinks sound delicious and these are alcoholic experiments we can get behind. For example, the bar's signature cocktail (Not) Classic PBJ highlights Chinese kumquats, caramelised into a liqueur, concocted against peanut butter fat-washed Glenfiddich 15 whisky. With house-made culinary-inspired ingredients from the kitchen, Davide boldly experiments techniques, infusions and tastes to break new ground.

So how do these culinary decisions come about, and how do garnishes play a pivotal role in your alcoholic beverage beyond aesthetics?

What about bartending do you love the most?

I love the freedom of creativity that bartending gives me. I enjoy challenging myself and pushing to create new inventions that elevate and enrich the drink palette in elegant and layered complexity.

I also get to travel, expand my horizons in the world of bartending and meet people from all over the world.

Share with us how you go about your regular work day.

1.Start with a to do list from the night before

2. Head into the bar with my checklist

3. Checking emails

4. Briefing for the day

5. Operations – preparations for the evening

6. Using lunch hour to prep the bar, ingredients and garnishes

7. More emails

8. Receive products

9. Brief the team

10. Show time

How do you go about creating a new cocktail and what are some ingredients that should never be mixed?

Creating a cocktail

- Starting with an ingredient (eg: strawberry)

- Explore the different ways and techniques to use it

- Think about a classic cocktail

- Look further into the complement (if the drink requires a citrus pairing)

- How to elevate the taste

- Pairing of different ingredients but works around one main flavor

- Either a pairing or a contrast of flavors

As for never mixing ingredients, as the saying goes, if you never try, you never know.

For example while creating Madame Fan Bar’s cocktail programme, I use my knowledge of the kitchen and the bar to deliver inventive compositions that enable the drink palette to enter an exciting new world of flavor. At Madame Fan Bar, we use house-made ingredients, liqueurs and garnishes with an oriental twist that take centerstage for a strengthened vision of the bar and kitchen to inspire a new iteration of the crafted cocktail

Favourite cocktail?

My favourite drink depends on how I’m feeling. It can be a classic negroni (aperitif, if I know I am going for dinner) or a daiquiri (or if I’m in need of something refreshing) or a Manhattan on slow evenings with friends.

In your opinion, do you think the drinking culture is exciting in Singapore? What can regular drinkers do to spice things up every once in a while?

Definitely. Singapore has a fantastic bar scene and the concepts in Singapore have especially good cocktail programmes. To spice things up, regular drinkers should be curious to trying something different, and not stick to one’s comfort cocktail.

Related Articles