Named after the bees that build hives in coconut trees and produce some of Malaysia’s best honey, Bar Trigona’s offering is just as mouth-watering. Take a trip to the gilded bar in the Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur, which is ranked No.29 and named The Best Bar in Malaysia 2022, to find head bartender Shadrach ‘Shawn’ Shan mixing cocktails from the latest menu, Herb Garden in Your Glass.
Its ingenious cocktail selection that is inspired by ingredients found in kitchens up and down the country earns Bar Trigona the Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu Award 2022.
Marking a departure from the traditional format where cocktails are divided by spirits, indigenous herbs form the basis of Bar Trigona’s extensive menu. Individual pages are devoted to pandan – a fragrant leaf often used in Malaysian desserts; pegaga – a common creeping herb; the ambrosial and citric lemongrass; and bunga kantan – known as torch ginger. Each of these effervescent ingredients are used across the menu and add an esoteric twist to some familiar favourites. Top choices are the Pegaga Sour, with pegaga-cooked wine, honey, bitters and egg white, or the enigmatic Silent Stinger, infused with vodka, lemongrass, tomato, tobacco and Worcestershire sauce.
While Herb Garden in Your Glass gives international guests a moreish taste of Malaysian flavours, the menu is also designed to educate drinkers about food wastage and how to reuse common ingredients that may otherwise be discarded. Bar Trigona’s focus on sustainability previously earned the venue the Sustainable Bar Award in 2019.
Shan has been a member of Bar Trigona’s team since 2018 and took the reins from the inimitable Asish Sharma in 2021. Spearheading the bar’s cocktail creation, Shan is keen to push the bar’s eco-friendly practices beyond the elimination of single-use plastic and to continue building relationships with local producers to inspire the indigenous menu. In keeping with its namesake, Herb Garden in Your Glass offers artisanal honey from a farm in Negeri Sembilan, where guests are even able to adopt their own beehive.