Over the past few weeks at Yangon Zay, Yangonites who have visited Sawbwa Coffee booth have become confused about the cocktail drink called Mohinga Martini. “I didn’t expect to go viral on the Internet,” said Mark Lloyd, the man behind the fishy cocktail.
Born in Bolton in northwest England, Mark Lloyd, a Bangkok-based mixologist and zero-waste consultant who teaches restaurants and bars how to minimize their wastes on food and beverages, unfolds his 20-year career to Myanmore. As a chemist on the other side, Mark combines an educational grip with a mixologist sphere.
His favourite cocktail to make is a Negroni because you can add anything into the mixing part, put a lot of flavours and make a lot of variation—super fun! “The sign of a good bartender is a somebody who can make a good Negroni,” he says.
Last year, Jen Queen and Nikki Barltrop from Union Bar & Grill and Gekko invited Mark over to get in touch with the bartender industry in Myanmar, then the boys of Sawbwa Coffee capitalized on his second visit this fall.
The Mohinga Martini was invented by Mark one year ago while he had mohinga at Rangoon Tea House, one of Yangon’s famed restaurants for Burmese snacks. Then he decided to do something with it and the idea of Martini came up in his mind.
Despite the fact that it doesn’t taste like Mohinga exactly, “the whole point of it was designed to invoke a memory so when you have the drink and the chickpea cracker, it especially reminds you of the flavours of a mohinga,” Mark explains.
This was not his first time making a national dish into a drink. Mark devised a Tom Yum Gin and tonic using kaffir, lemongrass infused gin with a pineapple and a coconut blend of juice, in Thailand and people poured praise over his pioneering drink.
Mark says he understands the bad comments and confusion expressed online about the concoction, yet there must have been something good about the Mohinga Martini as the Sawbwa coffee booth had a swarm of visitors and they enjoyed the drink a lot.
Mark reiterates the drink is less about fishy cocktails and more about triggering joyful memories of enjoying the classic dish. In a few months he is sure to return and present the tipple again to Yangonites.