Rising Star Mixologist Ran Duan of The Baldwin Bar - Biography

Woburn, MA

March 2015

If mixology street cred tends to be earned by working one’s way up from barback at an acclaimed urban cocktail temple, Ran Duan is a serious exception to the rule. Proprietor of The Baldwin at Sichuan Garden II, Duan was born in the Sichuan Province, and earned his stripes—and a lot of instant national attention—behind the bar of the family restaurant in Woburn, Massachusetts.

Moving to the States before he was 10, Duan found himself in Brookline, where his parents opened their first spot, Sichuan Garden, in 1994. By 2009, Duan was 22 and graduating from Johnson & Wales with a degree in hospitality. It may not have been his original plan, but he ended up back in the family business, landing behind the bar at Sichuan Garden II, a converted three-story mansion built in 1661. There, Duan honed his mixing craft and style, eventually hired his crew, and began The Baldwin Bar.

If the house already had acclaim, Duan brought more. By 26, he earned a mention in Gaz Regan’s “Annual Manual for Bartenders,” and by 27, he was consulting on bar programs for restaurants and spirits companies, hosting culinary-cocktail pop-ups, and working a hot streak in the competition circuit. Duan was recently the winner of Bacardi’s 2015 Legacy USA Cocktail competition, as well as the 2014 USA Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender—a title that also got him on the cover of GQ magazine as one of the men of the year. Later this year, Duan will represent the United States in the global finals of the Bacardi Legacy and Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender competition.