Categories: Dining

Bartend Sustainably With Penicillin’s Agung Prabowo Heading Asia’s Most Sustainable Bar

In an hour-long masterclass part of the recently concluded Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival, Agung Prabowo—the famous Indonesian-born mixologist recognised as an Industry Icon by The World’s 50 Best in 2020—talks sustainability in bartending. We take notes worth sharing. By Rashima Nagpal

Mixologist Agung Prabowo is at the helm of Penicillin, an exemplary Hong-Kong based bar that is part of several ‘best bars’ lists out there, including The World’s 50 Best Bars. Ever since it opened late last year, Penicillin has been making waves. It was declared Asia’s Most Sustainable Bar and has now made it to the 59th spot on The World’s 50 Best Bars 51-100 list.

How it’s done

How does one mix sustainability with a cocktail? Prabowo shows in the virtual masterclass. Following a closed-loop model of production, Prabowo is committed to generating minimal waste at the end of each night at Penicillin. He focusses on either locally sourced or up-cycled food and drink ingredients. Think whiskey infused with leftover white chocolate or leftover frozen avocado pits as ice cubes. In August this year, he launched an exciting menu of eco-conscious cocktails at Penicillin. In a cocktail called A Moveable Feast by AGUNG, Prabowo blends discarded seashells in a heavy-duty blender along with vodka, water, and salt, then evaporates it before infusing with white spiced tomato, a salted coconut syrup, and lemon juice.


Glass bottles tend to be a major waste material at bars. Prabowo and Penicillin tackle the problem with refillable spirit dispensers. Besides, the bar has a dedicated fermentation room, which Prabowo says has been inspired by Chef Rene Redzepi’s world-famous Noma. All sorts of spices and leftovers are used for pickling in a mason jar. He serves some of the cocktails in clay cups, which instead of being discarded are used to sow peppermint plants. One of Prabowo’s tricks to lend a cocktail a peppery note is with a dehydrated sheet made up of leftover strawberry brine blended with papaya seeds. What’s more, Penicillin uses lemon husks and lemon pulp for making hand sanitizer! “We want to encourage other bar owners to do sustainability in their own way,” concludes the mixologist.

Related: Asia’s 50 Best Bars: Delhi’s Sidecar Is The Best Bar In India & No. 16 In Asia

Rashima Nagpal

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