Amaro Montenegro crowns Vero Bartender winner

Ruben Sudmeier has been named the winner of Amaro Montenegro’s Vero Bartender: Sharing the Essence competition 2022.

Sudmeier, of Café Niebla, Spain, took the trophy in the global final held on 26 October in the brand’s hometown of Bologna, Italy.

The 14 finalists from 10 different countries were tasked with creating a large-format sharing cocktail that told the story of a metaphorical or physical journey that had inspired them, and celebrates ‘meaningful togetherness’ following the Covid-19 lockdowns.

The competition took place in front of a judging panel that consisted of Amaro Montenegro’s master herbalist, Matteo Bonoli; drinks writer Alice Lascelles; head bartender at Artesian at The Langham hotel in London, Giulia Cuccurullo; and Vero Bartender’s previous champion, Marcus Fredriksson of Sweden who won the competition in 2019 with his Around The Corner cocktail.

Sudmeier’s winning cocktail, called Ricetta, featured Amaro Montenegro, pistachio nut fat-washed Black Bush Irish whiskey and balsamic vinegar.

Commenting on Sudmeier’s victorious recipe, Bonoli said: “The quality of the competition this year was simply outstanding and it was a tough task to decide on a winner. Ruben however delivered an incredible presentation and story and his cocktail was the perfect mix of balance of flavours and enhancement of Amaro Montenegro’s qualities

“It was a well-balanced cocktail with a deep and robust note of Irish whiskey and a sharp yet pleasant sourness from the balsamic vinegar that completes the complex aroma of Amaro Montenegro. Sweet pistachio notes round the overall taste. A great cocktail to be enjoyed at the aperitivo time and after dinner.”

Other finalists included Mia Kumari of The American Bar at The Savoy, and Simone Corsini of The Four Seasons in Florence, Italy.

Sudmeier takes home a €6,000 (US$6,894) bursary that can be used to enrich his career journey via masterclasses, courses, educational trips, events, and professional bartending tools.

He will also attend a week-long Amaro Montenegro residency trip to Italy to take part in brand experiences and seminars, as well as a tour of the ‘best’ cocktail bars across the country.

Sudmeier said: “It hasn’t yet sunk in. It was such a day and it was an incredible honour to win with so many incredible talents on the stage. This whole experience has been incredible and I can’t wait to see what the future holds with Amaro Montenegro.”

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Author: Georgie Pursey