Pushing The Envelope

Sugar at East’s Andrew Leu believes that by continually coming up with new ideas and ingredients for cocktails on or off the menu, it inspires everyone.
Text by Irene Moore Bartender photos by Edward Leal Drink photo courtesy of Sugar at East | May 14, 2018 | People

Andrew Leu, the Bar Manager at the always-packed Sugar at East in Brickell City Centre, is a Southern gentleman hailing from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with all the charm that entails. But the first thing that draws you in is his exotic good looks: hazel-hued eyes, honey-colored skin and a warm, open smile, all the result of his unique Jamaican/Chinese heritage. In fact, he says it’s his diverse cultural background that has helped familiarize him with some of the more unusual ingredients that go into his cocktails at Sugar. “I have the ability to create something that could make a complete stranger happy, and it transcends language barriers,” he says. “It’s like being a chef, but without being hidden in the back of house.” Instead, he’s the out-front guy who stands behind his team, always encouraging them to be better. “I enjoy giving them a platform to express themselves and gain recognition like I did,” he says. And he draws inspiration from his patrons, too. “When you meet someone for the first time and create a custom cocktail that’s perfect for them…or when a regular comes in and I can remember the way they like things, that’s what it’s all about!”

Sesame Sling
1.5 oz Tanqueray Gin
3 oz Mango/Key Lime Nectar
.5 oz Hibiscus Syrup
Dash of Sesame Oil
Garnish w/ Lime Wheel & Black Sesame Seeds