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The Wish List

The Wish List

Old and tired? The ubiquitous Old Fashioned. Photo: Miguel Maldonado


We are a habitual bunch. Once we find a drink we like, it tends to become our friend for life. But are we boring our bartenders to death? I set out to find the answer by asking some of Ho Chi Minh City’s best bartenders in the game what we are all ordering, what they wish we would order, and what’s the next big thing in drinks.

Most Ordered Cocktails in HCMC in 2018


Kata Simon (Below Whiskey Den): Negroni, Gin Fizz, Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour

Richie Fawcett (Shri & The Studio Saigon): The Nguyen Trai (served in a handbag), The Bason Shipyard (served in a scale model galleon) & Mojito

Jay Moir (Layla): Mojito (mainstream crowd). Kiwi Basil Delight (Layla crowd)

Nguyen Canh Nguyen (Rabbit Hole): Ramos Gin Fizz

Matyas Busek (The Lighthouse The Lost Boys): Old Fashioned


Layla’s Kiwi Basil Delight. Photo: Bao Zoan

Our Bartenders’ Wish List


Kata Simon (Below Whiskey Den): Adonis and low ABV cocktails

Richie Fawcett (Shri & The Studio Saigon): Greyhounds, Salty Dogs & Cape Codders

Jay Moir (Layla): White Russian (simplicity at its best)

Nguyen Canh Nguyen (Rabbit Hole): Lion’s Tail

Matyas Busek (The Lighthouse & The Lost Boys): Brandy Crusta


Come on, order a Brandy Crusta. Photo:

Crystal Ball Predictions


Kata Simon (Below Whiskey Den):

“Chemistry tricked cocktails. More and more bars are playing around with these techniques”

Richie Fawcett (Shri & The Studio Saigon):

See Also

“Highballs and rice-washing based drinks”

Jay Moir (Layla):

“Recently Vietnam has caught on to the gin scene, but I think the spritzer/botanical style drinks are going to make it onto the stage. Rum is creeping in, but I still think it will be sitting back as a passenger for a while”


Bottled up. Gin has arrived in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Annie Spratt


Nguyen Canh Nguyen (Rabbit Hole):

“The no wastage movement, but you need to be an individual for that, unique, not just following trends. It’s a lifestyle, you need to simply live it to understand the idea behind it, and of course, develop it”

Matyas Busek (The Lighthouse & The Lost Boys) 

“Low ABV — it’s not quite here in Saigon yet, but it will come soon”


On the wish list — White Russian. Photo:
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