Cocktail recipe: Boston’s ‘most imaginative bartender’ actually in Woburn

boston woburn bartender ran duan most imaginative bartender
Ran Duan, Greater Boston’s most imaginative bartender, whips up his drink ‘The Forbidden Fruit’.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki, Metro

Ran Duan was recently named Boston’s “Most Imaginative Bartender.” But the 27-year-old isn’t celebrating just yet. 

He knows there’s still a long way to go before he gets what he’s after: the title of World’s Most Imaginative Bartender.

“This is only the first step,” he said. “I’m not there yet.”

Duan has for years been tending bar at The Baldwin Bar at Sichuan Garden, his family’s Woburn restaurant, and he recently won the regional final hosted by the United States Bartenders’ Guild and sponsored by Bombay Sapphire gin. Next month he will travel to Las Vegas and represent Boston in a competition among the country’s top mixologists all vying for the title “Nation’s Most Imaginative Bartender” and the chance to represent America in the global competition.

Duan calls the drink that sent him to the national competition “The Forbidden Fruit.” (See the recipe below)

It’s something he worked on for the competition and put on his restaurant’s cocktail menu for a month. It quickly became a favorite among patrons.

But the cocktail isn’t the only thing that got him to the national level. Competitors are also judged on technical aspects including presentation of bottles, handling of ice and bar tools and overall efficiency.

“It needs to be the most flawless performance and it’s mind-wrecking,” Duan said.

Duan’s currently on a bit of a hot streak having made it through regionals in four major bartender competitions within the last year, including placing second in the national finals of the USBG Legacy Cocktail Showcase.

But he’s not taking his experiences for granted. He’s continuing to tweak his speech, perfect his pouring and practice his technique. He commits up to three hours every other day to his training.

That hunger is what makes not only a good, but an imaginative bartender, said Troy Clarke, the president of the Boston chapter of the bartenders’ guild.

“He’s really pushing and learning from every competition he goes into and continuing to improve himself,” Clarke said of Duan. “He really wants to win and showcase the talent that we have in Boston and let people know we are here and we have a phenomenal cocktail scene.”

boston woburn bartender ran duan most imaginative bartender
‘The Forbidden Fruit’ by Ran Duan.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki, Metro

‘The Forbidden Fruit’ recipe

1.5 ounces Bombay Sapphire gin

3/4 ounces homemade passion fruit syrup

1/2 ounce lemon juice

1/2 ounce Campari

1/4 ounce Japanese yuzu

egg white

Instructions: Combine all ingredients and dry shake to emulsify the egg. Next, wet shake with ice cube and double strain into coup glass. Finally, mist with an allspice dram and garnish with a cherry and orange peel.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


New Apple devices include default kill switch

By Marina LopesWASHINGTON (Reuters) - New Apple Inc phones include a theft deterrent system that enables users to lock their devices and wipe them clean…


In third year, Occupy Wall Street a "leaner,…

Three years after thousands took to the streets and camped out in lower Manhattan, Occupy Wall Street members were out in Zuccotti Park on Wednesday…


PHOTO: Photographer comes face-to-face with deadly crocodile

A deadly crocodile comes face-to-face with a courageous photographer, who manages to take a set of jaw-dropping pictures of the teeth-baring reptile.


Brooklyn packed for annual West Indian Day Parade

Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway was packed Monday with an estimated one million people showing up on Labor Day to celebrate West Indian culture.


Review: Kevin Smith's 'Tusk' is insane even for…

Kevin Smith returns to the horror genre, only with more jokes this time, with "Tusk," in which Michael Parks wants to turn Justin Long into a walrus.


Fall Arts Guide: NYC's repertory film scene boasts…

Among the best repertory film series in NYC this fall include old subway movies at BAM, Capra at Film Forum and actual celluloid at the IFC Center.


Needtobreathe's revival: From broken up to resurrected

Needtobreathe talks about breaking up and reuniting while recording their latest album, "Rivers in the Wastelands."

The Word

The Word: John Travolta stands by 'Battlefield Earth'

John Travolta doesn't seem too bothered about the pending lawsuit from his former pilot, Doug Gotterba, who claims he also had a six-year romantic relationship…


NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)


Fantasy football: Run with Knile Davis, Khiry Robinson,…

Fantasy football: Run with Knile Davis, Khiry Robinson, Donald Brown


5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.


College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)


Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…


Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…


Here's why the newly-crowned Miss America deleted her…

Miss America pageant winner Kira Kazantsev quietly deleted her LinkedIn profile this week after her work history came under attack by conservative critics. Many of the…


Zosia Mamet explains why leaning in is not…

Zosia Mamet is living proof that even if you don't think you can get a job you're going for, you should still try. Along with…