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Five minutes with cocktail queen Venus Lau

The Peninsula Hong Kong is arguably the city’s finest and most famous hotel. Working her magic behind its cocktail bar Salon de Ning, is Venus Lau, a rising young star and a finalist at the 2012 Diageo World Class programme in Hong Kong.

Tell us about your history behind bars and mixing cocktails...

I’ve worked at Salon de Ning for three years now. I started my career as a waitress and eventually transitioned to becoming a bartender.

Bartending is my passion. I enjoy reading Jerry Thomas at leisure, studying the history and learning about the products and bartending trends. I want to interlace my interests with my career. At The Peninsula’s Salon de Ning, I am lucky to have ample support from the management team to do so.

What sort of bar is Salon de Ning?

Salon de Ning is inspired by an elegant private residence from a bygone era, it’s a combination of a clubby lounge venue with a collection of travel mementos and objets d’art reflecting the glamour and style of the ‘Paris of the East’.

Describe your favourite bar guest...

One who appreciates my cocktail, is interested in listening to the story behind its creation and is keen to offer feedback.

What’s your bartending aspiration?

I want to be the best! I want my guests to enjoy my cocktails and I would like to create a classic cocktail that will never go out of date.

What other city / bar in the world would you love to work in?

I would love to work in Thailand where sunshine, beaches and fresh tropical fruits are abundant. Those are the perfect surrounds for coming up with new cocktails!

What was the last track played on your iPod? Be honest!

Lady Gaga - Born This Way


By Ashley Pini for Drinks World Asia, a quarterly trade magazine for the Asian beverage industry.