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The Silent Mastermind: Mirwan 'Bule' Syah

Mirwan Syah, or otherwise only known as “Bule”, today is certainly a name well known amongst the Jakarta bartending scene. However, bartending wasn’t always his first passion, that instead it was in designing. Looking for work after receiving his high school diploma, Bule started work at a production house in his hometown of Jakarta. Helping his uncle with projects as a visual designer, that was his very first creative outlet. It wasn’t till 2007, that he gave that up to work at X2, a night club in Senayan. It was during his time working at the night club that he built his initial career as a bartender, moving up from a bar back to a bartender.

In 2011, Bule joined Union Jakarta as a bartender. With them from the very start, he remembers being humbled during his first day. Thinking he had an extensive knowledge of bartending, he soon realised that it was only a fraction compared to what was required from him in Union. Held up to the high standards of his new workplace, he overcame the steep learning curve and within a year, he was promoted to head bartender. His metreorical rise didn’t end there, two years later he was promoted again to mixologist. Then in 2016, he was brought into the Union Group and is now their head of research and development.

As head of R&D, Bule is moving towards a post-modern style of bartending. He is currently focusing on zero-waste bartending, a philosophy that encourages the reuse of ingredients used in the creation of cocktails. By finding alternate uses for organic products such as the rind of a watermelon or the pith of an orange, he aims to redesign Union to produce as minimal waste as possible. This practice and others like creating low ABV cocktails, he hopes will be adopted by other Indonesian bars. Something that he believes can raise Indonesian bars on the world stage.

Mai Tai Too

  • Rum

  • Pineapple Shrub

  • Orgeat Syrup

  • Yuzu Juice

  • Lime Juice

This twist on a classic Mai Tai cocktail, the "Mai Tai Too" was created especially for the Union outlet in PIK Avenue. Located closer to the sea, the warmer climate calls for a refreshing tropical cocktail for any hot day. The addition of pineapple shrub, “stretches” the Mai Tai to be more complex in its flavour.

Read the original article in Foodies Magazine Vol 3 Issue 4 August 2018

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