The Opihr Global Competition kicks off in Venice, 26th September. It promises to be a very special gathering with six very talented bartenders competing to be named The Spirit of Opihr 2019. Starting today we’re catching up with each of the hopefuls.
Nguyen Hoang Tu Quyen (Brita)
What’s the name of your bar and which country will you be representing?
My bar is called Below, it’s a small cocktail and whisky bar, and I’m representing Vietnam.
How long have you been a bartender?
I’ve been bartending for just over one and a half years.
What’s the story with your Opihr cocktail?
It’s named after a movie called the Bucket List and it’s inspired by the two old men who appear in it . They’d just met and find out that they have only one year left to live. Against their doctor’s advice they set out for a last journey together. In that position I’d do the same because I love traveling and I want to go everywhere to explore the world. It’s the same thing that Opihr has done, travelling to places to find exotic spices and to find the value of life.
My Bucket List cocktail represents the two old men’s journey which is bitter sweet, a little bit spicy and has a gentle finish. I chose to twist a Martinez because it’s a classic cocktail and one of my favourites.
Tell us a little about how Opihr gin works with the locally sourced ingredients in your cocktail
I started by infusing sweet vermouth with local Vietnamese coffee. This infusion has a creamy mouthfeel and a dark chocolate flavour which pairs extremely well with the Opihr to highlight the lightly citrusy notes of the grapefruit in it. I complete the beautiful flavour profile of the Opihr with a touch of my homemade pomelo tincture.
The original Martinez is quite light in gin and heavy on vermouth. In my Bucket List, by using the most beautiful strong, intense Opihr spices I turned it in the opposite direction.
What are you most looking forward to at the global final in Venice?
The most interesting thing for me at the final will be the experience. It doesn’t really matter what happens, it’s more important that I learn new things, experience different cultures and meet new friends. I want to see the world, that’s my dream and the reason I become a bartender.
Describe yourself in three words
Bright + Brave = Brita . Brita is crazy!
The Bucket List
40ml Opihr Gin
30ml Vietnamese arabica infused sweet vermouth
10ml maraschino liqueur
1 dash pomelo peel tincture
2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
Throw all ingredients and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice cubes.
The Opihr Global Cocktail Competition takes place in Venice 26th September. Read more about it here.
Look out for another Opihr Global Cocktail Competition finalist interview tomorrow.