Over the past several years, Jakarta’s cocktail bar culture has gone through an enormous transformation. Moving from having only mere nightclubs serving the most basic of drinks, to having beautifully designed cocktail bars serving up some world-class specialties. Every year yields more and more quality craft cocktail bars, a concept once utterly unheard of in the city; it is no doubt that Indonesia’s capital has become a powerhouse amongst Asia’s drinking cities. This change can be credited to the numerous talented local mixologists and bartenders working at the bars, crafting Indonesian and modern culture with every drink. Celebrate our local talents by visiting some award-winning Indonesian bartenders who you can still find regularly working behind the bar.
1. Albert Yacob – A/A Bar
Currently working as the Beverage and Operation Manager of the well-known speakeasy A/A Bar, you will often find Albert Yacob between hosting at the bar or slinging some impressive martinis for lucky guests. The 2017 Southeast Asia Winner of the Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Championship, was a part of the opening team of A/A Bar in 2019 and has since been integral in running the A/A ship on a day to day basis as well as coming up with new recipes to dazzle their guests. Please don’t be shy to drop by A/A Bar and order his latest creations, the Hops, and Wormwood, two high volume cocktails perfect for sharing with a crowd.
2. Darren Defretes – Nautilus Bar at the Four Seasons Jakarta
Arguably one of the most talented young Indonesian bartenders in the industry today, Nehemia G.C.O Defretes, also known as Darren, in the past few years has won himself an impressive number of bartending competition titles. Winning the Campari Indonesia and Ophir Gin crowns in 2018, he continued his streak into last year with the Giffard West Cup Indonesia. An enormous talent behind the bar, he is also known as a fantastic host. Taking the stage at the Nautilus Bar in the Four Seasons Hotel in Jakarta, he is one local bartender you must visit on this list.
3. Fahri Yusuf – BUNK Bar & Lounge at the Pullman Hotel Central Park
Resilience fittingly describes the resident mixologist at the BUNK Bar & Lounge at the Pullman Hotel Central Park. Despite only having worked for nearly three years behind the bar, Fahri Yusuf, also known as Ucup, has competed in a multitude of national bartending competitions over the past few years. His most significant achievement to date is winning the Dilmah Mixology Playoff just last year, where he wowed judges with his tea cocktails. You can easily meet Fahri at the BUNK Bar & Lounge located in the lobby of the Pullman Central Park Hotel. Try out his HaHaHa! And The 1887 cocktails while you are there!
4. Henry Maraben Siktimu – Loewy Jakarta
Extremely friendly and a gracious host, Henry Maraben Siktimu, more commonly known as Ale, is the man to meet when visiting Loewy Jakarta located in the Mega Kuningan Circle. A bar veteran of over twelve years, Ale competed against the best bartenders that Indonesia has to offer during his career. He sealed his name as one of the best in 2015 when he won the London No.3 Cocktail Competition, beating out the rest of his competitors. Since then, he brings his flair in his drinks inspired by the flavors from the “Nusantara.” Try his creations next time you are visiting Loewy Jakarta, amongst which are the Kalamansi Highball, Old Man Jack, La Isla, The Notorious, and the Black Dahlia on the menu.
5. Jakob Oetama Manurung – Social House
2019 was Jakob Oetama Manurung’s year, where he sealed his name with some of Indonesia’s greats when he represented the country at the world-renowned Diageo World Class Competition. The sea turtle and coffee-loving bartender took the crown as the latest winner of Indonesia’s World Class winner early last year, gaining him a place in the finals against some of the world’s best bartenders in Glasgow late last year. Now he conducts research and development for the beverage program for the Ismaya Group and is currently working in Social House, developing the drinks there. On your next visit to the Social House, find Jakob at the bar and let him help you decide the right drink for you.
Grand Indonesia, Jalan M.H. Thamrin, Jakarta Pusat
P: +6221 23581818