Going 10 Rounds with Top Bartender Sharon Yeung
The talented Austin, Texas, bartender, tackles our speed round of questions.
What do you like to drink after a shift? “An ice-cold beer! I’m currently obsessed with Blue Owl’s Hop Totem Sour Citra IPA. It’s the perfect balance of sour and hops. I’m a big fan.”
What is the all-time best dive bar jukebox song? “Hands down, “Blackened” by Metallica. That song inspired me to buy an electric guitar in hopes of playing it someday. I’m still pretty incredibly awful.”
After all these years bartending and creating drinks, do you still enjoy going out to bars? “Absolutely! I definitely have days where I want a solid Gibson at a cocktail bar and other days where I want to drink beer and a shot at a local dive. I’m very flexible.”
Name the first good drink you ever drank and where you had it. “A Saturn in San Francisco. My head damn near exploded.”
What book on cocktails or spirits is your go-to resource? “I absolutely love the PDT Cocktail Book by Jim Meehan. Lately, I’ve been finding myself getting lost in the Aviary Cocktail Book. It’s beautifully done and offers a lot of inspiration.”
What’s your favorite cocktail and food pairing? “A gin-heavy Negroni with a grapefruit peel served with cheese and charcuterie.”
What drink are you most proud of creating? “The Kung-Fu Flip, which has baijiu, amontillado sherry, a whole egg, fish sauce caramel, demerara sugar and cream. It’s garnished with a nori furikake dusted rice crispy ‘fish.’ It’s a wild one.”
Is there one person (dead or alive) you’d like to make a cocktail for? “Julia Child! She’s been my idol since I was a kid. She was quirky as hell and an all-around badass.”
What’s your favorite shot-and-a-beer combination? “A bright citrusy IPA and a 50/50 shot of Angostura Bitters and apricot brandy.”
What is the one tool that you always make sure to pack when you’re traveling for business? “A wine key!”
How do you recharge after a long week of bartending? “A long cooking session always centers me. Followed by snuggles with my corgi.”
Interview has been condensed and edited.