MH Woman: Aubrey Sim

Whatever you do, never ask Aubrey Sim when she's going to start a proper job. The 24-year-old is an award-winning bartender but she laments that even friends of friends have asked when she is starting on a real career. You can sense Aubrey's frustration. After all, she's proven to be one of the best in her line since starting out in 2008.

Aubrey won the Diageo Reserve World Class Singapore in 2009, a luxury bartending programme that honours the best and most creative in the craft of bartending. She was then flown to the United Kingdom to pit her skills against some of the world's finest. About her win, Aubrey says, "Being in London for the Diageo Reserve World Class Global Finals, as well as having the opportunity to do a one-night stint at the Montgomery Place in London taught me a lot about what was lacking in not only myself as a bartender, as well as Singapore’s industry as a whole." It also gave her a chance to work with the industry's finest, she continues. "Having had the chance to have one-on-one conversations, and to have my cocktails judged by cocktail greats such as Dale De Groff and Gary Regan only added to the mind-blowingly enriching experience."

Playing Aunt Agony
These days, she is lead bartender at B28, a bar at Club Hotel on Ann Siang Road. B28 started out as a whisky bar but expanded to include wine, craft beers and a list of 30 classic cocktails, which Aubrey mixes, creates and curates. Other than that, Aubrey also finds herself playing Agony Aunt at times. She says, "Most of the time, when people sit down at the bar, I’d ask about their day as well (sometimes just to be polite, and sometimes because I genuinely want to know), so I guess it’s pretty much an open invitation to talk my ear off." She adds, "To be fair though, more often than not, the stories I’ve heard from people at the bar are pretty interesting." 

Life Behind (the) Bars
Do guys hit on her? Aubrey admits that she does get the occasional pest. "One problem I have encountered is when I do not reciprocate on the same level of interest as the person who is approaching me, and said person becomes persistent. Ultimately, it’s part of the job when your workplace is open to the public, so it’s not such a big deal," she says.
Being behind the bar means Aubrey's able to observe the many, different ways guys have succeeded (and failed) in their public pick-up attempts. She confesses, "I have seen all sorts of pick-up techniques work, from sending notes via the wait staff, to sending a round of drinks to the table, to song dedications, and the list goes on. However, I am sometimes guilty of the odd giggle, kept to myself of course, when I come across amusing situations."
Aubrey suggests guys work harder to chat the girl up instead of just flirting from afar. "If he can engineer a way to slide into a conversation with her, maybe across the bar, chances of her backing off would be lower than if he were to say, send his friend over with the “My friend wants to get to know you” line," she advises.

Aubrey on... 

What makes a guy attractive
A guy who’s confident, well brought-up and funny would impress me the most. Someone who is confident enough to be self-deprecating and can make me laugh, would be very attractive. 

He does not have to be of a certain type, but if he could share my interest in fiction and cocktails, it would be a bonus. Being able to drink is not too high on my list of priorities, but it would be nice if he could. What would be a definite no though, are guys who are insecure to the point of using material wealth to validate themselves.
A sure-fire cocktail to impress a lady
I would suggest a proper classic cocktail, like a French 75. You could use Tanqueray no.Ten gin, lemon juice, sugar, and Champagne. It tastes fresh and bubbly, but packs a punch in terms of alcohol content. It looks and tastes elegant and sophisticated, just like the lady (hopefully) you are interested in.  
Girly drinks to avoid
There is no drink too girly for a man who’s confident and game enough to pull it off. For a first date though, if a guy is really out to impress and needs that extra boost of confidence, I’d say stay away from the Cosmopolitans. Just for that one night.  
How not to get drunk and make a fool of yourself
Hydrate. Have some water in between every alcoholic drink you have, which also helps minimise the chance of a hangover the next day. Better yet, order mineral water for the table, and keep the bottles coming. That not only ensures that you keep yourself hydrated, but will also help you impress a date.  
What she likes to drink
When I feel like a cocktail, I always order the Pegu Club, or if it’s over dinner, an Americano. Outside of cocktails, I’m partial to almost anything with gin. In particular, Tanqueray No. Ten gin.
How to get your orders first
Unfortunately, when I have a list of drinks pending, I’d have to be fair and go down the list chronologically. However, if you have been to the bar before, and have proven to be friendly and understanding, chances are that we would reciprocate by giving you our attention before giving it to the person who’s yelling at us from the other end.

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