Altos Bartenders' Bartender
altos bartenders' bartender 2018: vijay mudaliar
With the opening of Native in Singapore at the end of 2016, Vijay Mudaliar captured the attention – and soon after, the respect – of the Asia drinks scene. Having trained in some of Singapore’s most renowned bars, including Operation Dagger, he became passionate about foraging and soon decided to combine his two obsessions into a single bar.
Mudaliar’s focus is on everything local – not only ingredients, but also furniture, music, barware and even the aprons at Native are sourced or commissioned from local farmers and artisans. While the movement towards regional and local has been growing within the industry for the past couple of years, Mudaliar has truly brought it to the international scene, taking Singaporean produce into the spotlight too.
Friendly and personable by nature, Mudaliar has travelled extensively across Asia, both to find inspiration for his creations and to collaborate with many of the bartenders in the region, including Jericson Co and David Ong at The Curator in Manila, Lorenzo Antinori of Charles H in Seoul and Kitibordee ‘Gov’ Chortumtim and Leo Malakul of Backstage Cocktail Bar in Bangkok.
Mudaliar’s innovative approach to cocktail making includes distilling and infusing his own ingredients in Native’s attic. He also uses plenty of unique Asian spirits, such Chalong Bay Rum, Sichuan Pepper Gin and Amrut Whisky. For his signature drinks Mango Lassi and Antz, he sources the milk from a local farm and later makes yogurt and whey. The whey is used for the Lassi, while Antz incorporates the yogurt as well as freeze-dried ants from Thailand.
Mudaliar’s dedication and engagement with the Asian drinks scene has turned him into a respected mixologist, voted by the bartenders of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2018 as the winner of the first Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award.
52A Amoy Street