Welcome to the first of a series of collaborations that we are going have with some of the world's best mixologists. David Tan is the owner and founder of the Tuxedo Social Club in Barcelona, a members-only speakeasy located in El Borne.
David is a native of Barcelona and this November he will be celebrating the Tuxedo Social Club’s second anniversary. He has worked in the hospitality industry for 22 years and the last 14 years as a bartender extraordinaire. When you walk into the Tuxedo Social Club, it looks like you are entering a classic library from Edwardian England replete with classic books, darker lighting, and vintage suitcases, the perfect setting for a quick drink and chat:
Your logo has a classic derby hat. What was your inspiration for this design?
I have always been inspired by the origins of classic cocktails and the era of the 1920’s was the beginning of the modern foundations for all cocktails we drink today. I wanted to design a cocktail bar in a classic way that harkened back to this era so that when people taste my cocktails it feels as they could be sitting in their own house.
What is your favorite drink to make?
I love making the signature cocktail that gives Tuxedo its name, which is a martini style cocktail, with gin, dry vermouth, orange bitters and a little maraschino.
If you were making yourself a cocktail, what would you make?
I love cognac and would make myself a Sazerac.
Do you have a favorite spirit you like using when making your cocktails?
I love playing with all spirits as each has unique properties that allow me to create inspired cocktails.
What do you love about cocktail industry?
Bartending is my life. I love the ability to create memories and joys for people through my creations and what people order allows me to learn about them in a unique and original way. In every cocktail I make I want to capture a person’s imagination.
What trends do you see in the cocktail industry?
There has been a massive rise in cocktail culture throughout the world which always begins in New York City and London but has carried throughout the globe. Asia is now one of the most innovative places for cocktails now, which is very exciting. Here inBarcelona, there has been a massive increase in cocktail-only bars, and I do not see that trend stopping. It is a really exciting time to be in the industry.
Is it challenging working with so many different kinds of spirits that are entering the market from larger and smaller brands?
Not every spirit is the same and not every cocktail is the same. Each different spirit flavor profile forces me to be creative to add different flavors to maximize the essence of the spirit. Sometimes through the spirit, I can interpret its story, which gives me an idea for a creative cocktail that I have never made and that is unique to that particular spirit. In the end, I am willing to make mistakes so I can learn what captures the essence and flavors of each spirit.
What spirit do you prefer in the Top Beverages range?
I think the two phrases that capture each one of Top Beverages’ spirits is 'superior taste' and 'incredible versatility'. The botanical notes of the Original Gin are noticeable immediately. The vodka is super-clean and the alcohol integration is amazing. The spiced rum’s sweetness is natural and balanced. Many rums have an artificial sweetness through a caramel coloring that makes it very difficult to make a great cocktail. But my absolute favorite is the White Rum. It is so incredibly versatile and upon the first sip, my mind went in so many different directions on how to create amazing cocktails that can fit so many different flavor profiles. I cannot wait to create!
Please go see David at the Tuxedo Social Club and taste his amazing creations.