Starting from 14 June 2022, guests can explore a brand-new array of cocktails at Bar Trigona at Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Named the Best Bar in Malaysia for three years in a row, the new menu features locally-sourced ingredients in a storied format that reveals the tales behind the cocktails.
Showcasing the abundance and diversity of Malaysian produce, this latest edition of the cocktail list puts the spotlight on five local farms that partner closely with Bar Trigona. Collectively crafted by the talented team behind the bar, each signature drink celebrates a particular ingredient, while the menu itself captures the stories behind the scenes.
Meet inspiring cultivators such as Dino, the founder of Dino Kelutut Organic Farm and “a full-time stingless beekeeper” in his own words. Located in Negeri Sembilan, this is the farm that supplies Bar Trigona with small-batch trigona honey, made by stingless Malaysian bees.
The menu also stars Malaysian cocoa, diligently cultivated by Ning of Chocolate Concierge, and Mutiara figs, sustainably farmed right next door in Shah Alam. Advocates of “clean drinking” can sip cocktails crafted with Boom Grow herbs. Grown in sustainable indoor farms, these herbs are completely free of pesticides and chemicals. Those who prefer non-alcoholic drinks can choose from a selection of creative mocktails.
Guests also have the opportunity to sample flavours from the Trigona Farm. As part of the Tree-Volution initiative launched last year, Bar Trigona transformed an empty plot of land in Pahang into a flourishing patch filled with fruit trees, herbs and spices – some of which are now making an appearance on the menu.
The sour notes of kedondong (ambarella) are integral to Red Bird, a heady concoction of butter fat washed dark rum, pineapple and kedondong rum, homemade oolong wine and trigona honey. Another signature drink, Terroir, combines two ingredients from the farm – kedondong and lime – with asam boi (preserved plum) infused tequila, Cointreau, and cacao honey.
Ever since Bar Trigona opened its doors, its hyperlocal approach has put homegrown produce centre stage. The most prized ingredient is the raw honey made by stingless trigona honeybees, native to Malaysia. Its sweet and sour notes can be tasted across several drinks – a liquid signature with a distinctly organic flavour. Bar Trigona offers honey cocktail flights for guests to explore the unique flavour profiles of three varieties of raw honey (including trigona honey).
“Fascinatingly, the character of honey changes through the year. Its taste, texture and colour depend on the flowers in bloom during each fruiting season,” explains Assistant Bar Manager Julian Brigget. “When the honey is in its pure, unadulterated form, it is possible to taste these subtle differences.”
A previous winner of the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award, Bar Trigona is a pioneer in sustainable cocktail-making. “Our approach is to make the best possible use of each ingredient, throughout its entire lifecycle. Reuse, recycle and repurpose is a way of life for us,” notes Julian.
The bar’s collaboration with Dino’s honey farm has slowly evolved into a collection of eco-friendly initiatives, including the popular Adopt a Beehive program. Another key project is Tree-Volution, a reforestation initiative aimed at planting fruit trees around local farms. Proceeds from selected cocktails fund seed collection, planting and protection of the fledgling forest. Alongside providing employment, the goal is to refortify the soil and restore biodiversity.
Photo credits: Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur