Andrew Hyman at Ce La Vi creates Native Garden, a refreshing drink that’s perfect for hot summer days.


Ce La Vi’s Andrew Hyman creates a refreshing drink that’s perfect for hot summer days

Native Garden, a play on gin and tonic, is inspired by the Nam Dok Anchan drink, a popular drink found in Thailand & Vietnam where local versions are often mixed with herbs, cinnamon, passion fruit, or ginger. Bartender tip:

The hibiscus species is the national flower of Malaysia and is packed with antioxidan­ts. The tart, slightly sweet refreshing tea makes an excellent summer beverage.


30ml Tanqueray London Dry Gin 15ml Giffard Crème de Cassis 15ml Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice 30ml Hibiscus Tea

15ml Cinnamon Syrup

1 piece Rosemary

45ml Tonic Water Dehydrated orange and rosemary spring, for garnish


Stir ingredient­s (except tonic water) together

Remove rosemary sprig, strain over cubed ice in a small wine glass.

Top with tonic water.

Garnish with dehydrated orange and fresh rosemary sprig.


30g Hibiscus Tea 900ml Hot Water 100ml Grenadine

Native Garden

Add all ingredient­s to a large container, steep for 15 minutes and strain. Allow to cool before bottling.

Yields 1 litre. Store in fridge.

WHO: Lead Mixologist, Andrew Hyman

JOINED: Ce La Vi, Level 57, Tower 3, Marina Bay Sands FROM: England


Growing up in England, Andrew found his calling as a Frenchtrai­ned chef. Or so he thought. A brief stint behind the bar steered him to the world of mixology. In the last 20 plus years, he has thrown a drink in Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Beirut, and even the open seas when he worked on the Princess cruise liner. He brings this rich experience and multicultu­ral sensibilit­ies to Ce La Vi as lead mixologist.


“It was a bit of an accident” he laughs. As part of his hotel management education, Andrew was asked to spend a few days behind the front desk and he never went back. Cooking influenced his new love of bartending.“To be able to create, for me, is where my passion really comes from.”


In 2001, Andrew joined Shaker Inc, a drinks consultanc­y company. They were opening bars around the world, and he jumped in at the chance to travel with them. His job was to train and develop the local bartenders in different cities across continents and stay on for another three to six months to iron out any kinks.


Andrew grew up around Indian culture in Birmingham. When the opportunit­y came to go to Mumbai, he was all for it. He says, “The challenge, in the beginning, was to understand the palate. As opposed to the U.K., which has a slightly sweeter palate, India has more of a penchant for sour and strong flavours.” He soon realised his first lesson.”The cocktails had to be strong, or there would be anarchy.”


The other problem he faced: lack of modifying agents. India had an abundance of base spirits but a minimal range of liqueurs, tinctures and mixers. Andrew had to get innovative. “I found myself going back to the barebones of mixology.” When he couldn’t find grenadine, he found pomegranat­es in abundance, turned them into molasses and distilled them. Sourcing botanicals was a task easily lost in translatio­n. “The botanicals have different names there,” he says, “I spent hours looking for gentian root, which in India is called swertia chiretta. I was scouring different markets and suppliers for hours before I was able to find it.”


“I came to Singapore in February 2020, worked five weeks and then everything closed. I just spent my time thinking about new drinks, many of which are now being served at Ce La Vi – or they may be a twist on one of those ideas.”


“My travels hugely impacted this menu – particular­ly the time I spent in Australia and India, as well as my Caribbean roots.” Take Old Memories as an example, based on the popular Thai dessert that is coconut corn sago pudding. “There was a coconut ice cream with condiments such as pandan noodles, pomegranat­e, sweet corn and cashew nuts – this was the first time I discovered this marrying of coconut and corn.”


“I believe my strength has just been able to create flavour. And it’s what I really try to focus on: to try and get as much flavour out of whatever products I’m using to create a cocktail.”

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