Interview: bartender Teresa Moon (OZONE)

Bartender Hong Kong


What do you remember about your very first night behind a bar? Where was that?

My very first night behind a bar was when I was doing my very first internship for Les Roches. I was still a student, and I did my internship at the Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona. I was working with some of the best bartenders in Barcelona. They’d won so many world-class competitions. It was quite scary, because they were quite defensive about the bar. They’re very proud of it…but they gave me a chance. It was a scary moment, but I enjoyed it very much and said, “I’m never going to go out again.”

How do you go about naming your cocktails?

The more I think about the name, the harder it gets, so if I have to spend more than five minutes thinking about the name, I’ll just leave it for the next day. It’s too over-thought, and I won’t be able to come up with the name that I want. Most of the time, it just pops up. If I have to wait for the next day, I’ll just say, “Today’s not my inspiration day.” Most of the time, like I’ve got Vanilla Sky, Zacapa Tea, it usually has to do with an ingredient, or some personal touches or experiences, or just reflect the moment. It’s part of a memory.

What’s the latest cocktail you developed for Ozone, and what was your approach?

The latest one, the one we’re going to make today, is Zacapa Tea. We are using Zacapa rum, which is one of my favorite rums. We’re doing a special promotion with Zacapa. The brand ambassador for Zacapa approached us, and we’re doing a nice promotion with them, for three months. We created a whole range of cocktails with Zacapa rum. There are six cocktails on the list. Five of them are classic cocktails. We have added our touch with Zacapa. Like Old Fashioned, made with Zacapa, things like this. The Zacapa Tea was our own creation. I think it’s very me. The cocktail has a bit of jasmine tea, it has Zacapa rum, it has all these citrus flavors. It’s a warm cocktail, because of all the flavors inside, but also very refreshing, and almost like an iced tea, so easy to drink.

Cocktail Hong Kong

What is your top selling cocktail at Ozone, and why do you think that’s the case?

People love mojitos. We have a special mojito on our menu called the Blackberry Mojito. This one is our best seller. When we go out of the mojito world, and people are really interested and appreciate the drinks, our Basilic is a really good seller, together with our Vanilla Sky.

Who else do you look to in the cocktail world for inspiration, guidance or advice?

I still go back to my first mentor, and I know there are so many great bartenders around, but I still look to my first mentor, a great Italian guy. I worked with him in the Mandarin Oriental hotel, and he taught me a lot of my basics. All of my basics are his.

What’s his name?

Max La Rocca. I think he’s currently a brand ambassador for Diageo.

What do you look for when you’re hiring a bartender to work behind your bar?

First of all, personality. I know it’s a very technical job. Of course there are basic talents you have to have, but then, after that, a bartender’s personality is very important. A Cosmopolitan, if you have the recipe, anyone can make. If you follow the exact recipe, you’ll make a wonderful Cosmopolitan. Anyone can do it, but you have to have a little spark inside you. You have to be behind the bar and make your customers feel special.

What type of music do you like to listen to when you’re behind the bar?

Every night we get different resident DJs here, to play different music. I love all of them. They play a variety of different things. You have different music for different moods and different nights. I really prefer upbeat house or techno or electronic music. I just love it. We have nice DJ parties that make your night lighter.

What and where do you like to drink when you’re not working?

Gin and tonics. Definitely.

Where do you like to drink them?

This may be a little arrogant, but seriously, I’ve been around the whole city, trying to find a perfect gin and tonic. I come from Spain, and gin and tonic is something huge there. There’s a ritual for how to make a gin and tonic. The perfect large balloon glass with a big huge piece of ice. And then the perfect garnishes for every different type of premium gin. And the different tonic waters you have to choose from, to make your gin and tonic really personalized, and really, really great. I haven’t found such a bar here, yet. I really like to make my gin and tonics at home. Actually, Ozone makes it like that. I’m very proud to say we make the best gin and tonics in town.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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El placer de disfrutar un cóctel desde lo más alto | Lunas de miel Viajes

[…] por el Chef Bryan Ching y la cantidad de exquisitos  cócteles elaborados por la experta Teresa Moon, que creció en Canarias y se formó en la gran escuela de cocina Le Cordon Bleu […]

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