THE SHORT LIST

What's in a list?

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Well, for me, quite a lot actually. If it's one of the cocktail lists I regularly put together for my myriad of international clients, it's full of creativity, originality, variety, appealing flavor combinations, unique concepts, and, hopefully, attention getting names and descriptions. My cocktails are undoubtedly a part of me. And I want every single person that tries one of my creations to feel that. If you think about it, that's a pretty tall order.

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And that translates into training. Because what's the point if the guy behind the bar making your cocktail doesn't put any love into it? What's the point if the girl shaking the shaker does it half-heartedly? There's no point at all if it doesn't get delivered properly.

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I just put together one of said lists for arguably the coolest spot under a year old in the city of Jakarta, Indonesia. The place is called Immigrant and I just finished creating for them six incredibly innovative tipples--and that's not just by Javanese standards; I would confidently be able to introduce this selection to an imbibely distinguished Manhattan crowd.

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I utilized a bunch of common local ingredients that people have likely never used in a similar way: an Indonesian leaf called pohpohan, basil seeds, grilled watermelon, and fresh aloe leaf. I also used some common ingredients that are quite uncommon behind the bar: green bell pepper, dates, lollipops, and a few types of candies. Then, I gave them unorthodox names such as: "Widowed Rich Bitch", "Whoah-Whoah-Whoah", "God Gave You Style and Grace", and "Take A Chance On Me". And of course I made sure that the balance of flavors was spot on and that the bartenders had a complete handle on all aspects of each drink.

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And did I mention that the group of bartenders over at Immigrant are an exceptional bunch?

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I've been getting a lot of questions from people I meet lately that go something like this: "So what exactly is it that you do?" Well, this is it. (The short description, that is.)

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Like I said, it's a short list. So sip slowly. Enjoy.

—Joseph

Jakarta, West Java, Indonesia