Meet Britney – Malaysia’s first cocktail truck

Meet Britney – Malaysia’s first cocktail truck
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

Get your cocktails to come to you - mobile Mojitos and Negronis have pulled up to the party scene, thanks to KL Scenarium (KLS), the country's very first cocktail truck.

Launched just last week, it's the brainchild of collaborators and cocktail conspirators Ee-Lyn Tan and Vimal Kumar, both 32.

"Many conversations over too many G&Ts, that's how we came up with this!" said Tan.

While she is an F&B entrepreneur, Vimal has his own tech company - they share a love of good cocktails, a can-do entrepreneurial spirit and a sense that every event should be something special and customised to individual taste.

Cookie cutter cocktails aren't their bag. "Cocktails are about craft - you need the right ingredients, the proper methods," said Vimal.

"There's a science to it as well as an art, and even the type of ice you use is important. Good cocktails are all about balance, a great flavour, with a little kick at the end."

"A lot of events have now moved out of hotels and into dedicated event spaces. And at many of these, the space is great, the food amazing - but then the drinks, just lacking. Boring."

A cocktail truck would then fill that niche, completing the big party picture and complementing all the other bespoke details of a memorable party.

Guests at the launch of KL Scenarium seemed to get a kick out of watching their drinks being made on-site.
Photo: The Star/Asia News Network

KL SCENARIUM

Guests at the launch of KL Scenarium seemed to get a kick out of watching their drinks being made on-site.

The 18-foot food truck that was destined to become 'Britney' - the business partners have a huge fondness for 90s pop culture - was Tan's serendipitous find.

"After all those conversations about having our own cocktail truck, I suddenly saw this one parked just down my street - with a For Sale sign!" said Tan.

It was initially a coffee truck, but then the barista left and the owner wanted to sell. Already outfitted to serve drinks, it needed only minor modifications to turn into a mobile bar, such as adding ice bins and garnish trays. And changeable LED lighting, so Britney can suit the larger scene.

Vimal and Tan bought the truck for approximately RM50,000 (S$16,235), then enlisted the help of a bar consultant to modify it.

It got its name from Vimal's 2014 backpacking "pilgrimage" to watch the World Cup in Brazil.

"We heard about this place called the Rio Scenarium, the 'best jazz club ever' according to the locals," he said. "It's a four-storey club 30 minutes outside of Rio, and it was amazing - and I told myself, if I ever start something up in KL, I'd call it the KL Scenarium."

"We initially built a menu based on what we liked, then we hired a bartender, he looked at our menu and said no, it was too safe," said Tan.

Said bartender was Pidot Fey, who is now KLS' head mixologist - and who came up with a whole new menu.

The classic Negroni, a mixture of gin, vermouth and Campari.
The Tealantro is an original creation from KL Scenarium.

"He's young, with so much passion and drive, and he knows what's trending on the global scene, as well as being knowledgeable about produce, spirits and methods," said Tan. "He's also very detail-oriented, even to the point of specifying the length of straws for each drink!"

Britney dedicates herself to private events right now, so if you have a private parking space and a hankering for cocktails, she can roll right up.

KLS has three cocktail categories. There are classic cocktails, such as the Negroni and the Twisted Mojito, which is given a little local flavour with gula Melaka syrup.

Then there are signature creations like the Tealantro, which has citrusy Earl Grey combined with passion fruit, lime and white rum, plus a hint of fresh coriander leaves; the Frozen Laymong Grate is a boozy slushy brimming with lychee, house-made lemongrass syrup, lemon juice and vodka.

Finally, there are shots and more. These range from straight-up liquor shots to fruity jello shots and boozy popsicles.

Tan and Vimal have combined their love of cocktails and bespoke innovation to come up with Malaysias first mobile cocktail truck.Photo: The Star/Asia News Network

Holiday seasons will also see the unveiling of limited edition creations.

The packages start at RM3,500 for 100 cocktail servings, with a minimum selection of two types. That'll include the services of mixologist and serving staff as well, and there are also mocktail options, like the Watermelon Fizz, made from ginger ale, fresh watermelon and lime juice.

The ambitious duo are already thinking of how to expand on their idea. "We'll definitely grow it, whether it's with multiple trucks in KL, or in different locales, like a Penang Scenarium," said Vimal.

"But each truck will have a different look. We may even go regional - like with a Bangkok Scenarium, serving cocktails with Thai flavours."

To get Britney to roll into your party, contact KL Scenarium at iwantdrinks@klscenarium.com.

 

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