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3 months ago

Tahona Society

Nov 29, 2020

And the Winner of Our Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award 2020 Is…


We are very proud to announce to our Tahona Society Community, that Jay Khan, co-founder and director of Coa in Hong Kong, has been named the winner of Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award 2020!

The award—announced at Asia’s 50 Best Bars’ digital ceremony on May 14th in Singapore—recognizes an individual who has made a significant impact in the bar industry and drinking scene in Asia, and is voted for by bartenders from the Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2020 list. Coa bar also won 3rd place on the list.

The Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award was introduced to Asia’s 50 Best Bars for the first time in 2018. Vijay Mudaliar, founder of Native in Singapore, was the inaugural winner. Shingo Gokan, the man behind Speak Low, The SG Club, and Sober Company, was awarded the title in 2019.

Jay, considered a legend in Asia’s cocktail scene, is recognized for his role in spreading the culture and flavors of Mexican spirits in the region. 

Asia’s 50 Best Bars’ Content Editor Mark Sansom states, “[Jay’s] passion for sharing innovative cocktail experiences sends a positive ripple effect throughout the industry and makes him a well-deserved recipient of this year’s award.”

Who is Jay and how he did he get into the bartending scene? 

Jay began his bartending journey 14 years ago, by way of notable bars in Hong Kong and Melbourne. His passion for agave spirits began after a trip to Mexico a decade ago. Since then, he has undertaken extensive research and field trips, studying the harvesting and production processes of the agave plant with distillery visits across Mexico.

Three years ago, armed with a desire to translate his love for agave spirits into innovative cocktail experiences, Jay opened Coa on Shin Hing Street in Hong Kong.

Coa, a Mexican-inspired bar, which is named after the machete-like tool used for harvesting agave, offers the largest agave collection in Hong Kong and focuses on mezcal and tequila-based cocktails, among more esoteric agave spirits. In 2019, Coa placed 12th and won the Highest New Entry Award on Asia’s 50 Best Bars’ list.  

Jay considers himself blessed with the many opportunities that allowed him to work alongside the best bartenders around the world throughout his career.

“Winning the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award is extremely meaningful because it is an affirmation from peers, for whom I have immense respect. The industry may be going through a really difficult time now, but as long as we continue to stand together as a community and support each other, I am confident we can get through this and come out stronger.”

— Jay Khan

Finally, we are certain that Jay will continue to inspire others with his much-needed optimism during this time, and lead the industry to greater heights once recovery sets in. 

 You can follow Jay at IG @jaykhan313 and Coa at @coahongkong.   

If you would like more details on the voting process for this award, please visit www.worlds50bestbars.com/asia/voting.php.