Where sake and cocktails meet
“I’ll take a mojito.” “And for me a gin & tonic.” These are words bartender Jason Knüsel often hears at The Bar in The Chedi Andermatt. Because these are the favourite drinks of most guests at the bar. He himself prefers not being limited to a single favourite. “Considering the full range of cocktails available, it’s nearly impossible to have a favourite drink. My choice would also depend a lot on my mood and on the situation.”
Jason Knüsel knows a lot about the countless bottles behind the bar, a fact he has proven by winning the “Trofeo Ticino 2016” – an award given by the Swiss Barkeeper Union. “It’s of course a great confirmation of my daily work and it inspires my creativity.” Jason Knüsel never runs out of ideas for new drinks. “I believe a drink must always tell a story, and I draw inspiration from my surroundings. Here at The Chedi Andermatt, that includes Swiss traditions and the alpine region – for example brandies. And on the other hand we also have the Asian influences, for example, sake.”
When it comes to sake, Jason Knüsel has an exceptional specialist at hand: Switzerland’s one and only sake sommelier, Arman Jafri, who works at The Chedi Andermatt. He passed his certification test in Tokyo, where he had to taste 300 sakes over a period of ten days. It was an extraordinary experience for Arman Jafri: “My palate was really put to the test. But one develops a kind of ‘power boost’ – like an incredible ability that allows me to recognize the different nuances of sake.”
The two masters of their trade have another thing in common: Arman Jafri also hesitates when asked to name his single favourite: “The spectrum of sake is so broad that I find it hard to name just one.”
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