Queen of Mixology | Audrey Eschmann

06 Jul 2015
2 min read
Talented mixologist, Audrey Eschmann, is heading up the bar at Hong Kong’s newest hangout, NEO, the coolest cocktail bar on the Shin Hing steps. FOUR finds out what she thinks makes a great tipple and what to look our for in the world of spirits…

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Alsace (in Colmar) near Germany, a small, nice town famous for its Alsatian cuisine.

What did you aspire to be when you grew up?

I had many dreams as a child! I mainly wanted to be a chef like my father – I’ve always been creative and obsessed with flavours.

How did you find your way into wine and spirits?

I have primarily been in the hospitality industry since I started working, however, I did study theatre and drama. Ultimately the stage wasn’t for me, it didn’t complete me. One day my friend gave me a gift card that was for a mixology course, as soon as I tried it I fell in love and decided to focus my career on mixology. It’s been the best decision and learning experience of my life and having a theatrical background definitely comes into play when I’m behind the bar!

Where do you find inspiration for your drink recipes?

Everywhere! I love trying new foods (especially new fruits) and always like to keep on top of new beverage trends. Even when I smell a new perfume, see a new dress or meet a new person I find inspiration. My recipes come from my everyday life, from the stories I hear to the various people that I meet.

What are your FOUR favourite cocktails from the NEO menu?

From NEO’s menu I really like Rumbut and Cardamom Mule for its kick. It’s a cheeky blend of vodka, spiced apple honey syrup, green and black cardamoms, citrus and ginger beer. We use our house vodka Ayslebury Duck Vodka which has a spicy, grainy edge to it so it’s the perfect base for the Rumbut and Cardamom Mule. I’m also a big fan of the Cornac Retrold with its 72 hour dry corn infused cognac, it’s totally out of the box and is a liquor you just won’t find anywhere else in Hong Kong. I also can’t resist NEO’s Mezcal’s Crack – a refreshing mix-up of blanco tequila, citrus ginger honey water mescal and house-made caramel cracklings. Perfection. I do also love a good Old Fashioned in general. When it’s done well, you can’t beat it.

What interesting trends/themes are going on in the spirits world? What’s on your radar at the moment?

It’s a difficult question because every country has its own trends. I think consumers worldwide are becoming way more interested in bartending techniques and the work that goes into a great cocktail, Hong Kong is really leading the way on that. People are looking for character with their cocktails nowadays, they want more of a story. Which is why there’s also a big focus on great homemade syrups, spirits and craft beers which are just awesome to create with – it means I can really come up with cocktails totally unique to NEO.

What is your most indispensable cocktail ingredient?

Aside from a little bit of fun!? Every ingredient is indispensable and like everything it’s about balance. If I had to choose just one I would have to be the humble syrup because it is easy to use and is very versatile.

What is another of your favourite tipples?

I love whisky and bourbon on the rocks and I’m partial to a good glass of red wine. I also always love being whipped up a surprise cocktail by the bartenders I meet, its shared learning amongst peers and it keeps me inspired, fresh and on point.


10 Shin Hing Street


Hong Kong

(852) 2812 2280