Vu Doan Vien Du has been crowned Vietnam’s best bartender at the recent Campari Bartender Competition Vietnam 2018 Finals at Drinking & Healing in Ho Chi Minh City hosted by Campo-Group after he triumphed over four other challengers in a tense and hard-fought final.
As a result, Du won VND10 million (approx. US$430) and earned a spot to represent Vietnam in Milan, Italy next year and attempt to become Asia’s best bartender for 2018 at the Campari Bartender Competition Asia 2018 Finals.
Each of the five finalists had just seven minutes to serve up their creations in addition to explaining to the judges the inspiration behind their drinks
Each of the five finalists, who had fought their way through preliminary rounds to reach the final before this event, had just seven minutes to serve up their creations using Campari as the base ingredient, in addition to explaining to the judges – Richie Fawcett (Studio Saigon), Arno Fabricio Schonfelder (General Manager, Campo Group), Divyesh Chauhan (Campari Brand Ambassador & owner of Junglebird Bar, Kuala Lumpur) – the inspiration behind their drinks.
Each of the finalists brought their own creative flair to the competition which made for some enthralling viewing and entertaining showmanship. But it was all about the drinks with Du’s Dalat-inspired cocktail coming through to win the major prize. Dalat is located in Vietnam’s central highlands and is famed for its temperate climate and picturesque views making it popular as a romantic getaway.
Du’s entry was his creative take on the classic Boulevardier cocktail that’s traditionally made with whiskey, sweet red vermouth and Campari. Similar to the famous Negroni cocktail, the Boulevardier shares two of the Negroni’s three ingredients – vermouth and Campari – but is differentiated by its use of either bourbon or rye whiskies instead of gin.
Du’s winning cocktail used strawberry-infused bourbon, vermouth, Campari, a blend of herbs grown in Dalat and garnished with some “Campari candy” made from strawberries, lavender and sugar, then served up in an Old Fashioned glass rimmed with chocolate.
Speaking to the large audience in attendance, Arno Fabricio Schonfelder, the General Manager of Campo Group, said that while this competition was important for the bartenders participating, it was also very important for Campo Group and the Campari brand because it was the first competition they had ever hosted in Vietnam.
“Behind all the brands of the Campo Group, such as Campari, Skyyy and Bulldog and others, we provide inspiration and creativity, so we’re very proud to support the local community here,” he said. “This is a global competition, so congratulations to Du, because he will go on to Milan and help showcase the incredible Vietnamese talent we have here.”
First Place: Vo Doan Vien Du (Drinking & Healing)
First Runner-Up: Nguyen Van Tu (Mix Bar – Grand Sheraton Danang)
Second Runner-Up: Nguyen Toan My (Firkin Bar)