Bartending Competition Heightens Thirst For Success


Superstar REACH students, Trang Huyền Thị Ngô and Diu Thi Nguyen, have competed in the augural Interschool Bartending Competition at the Unicorn Bar in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, giving them a fantastic opportunity to try out their skills under pressure.

The competition was fierce and the battle hard fought but in the end their could only be one winner with Lộc from KOTO taking out the top prize.

Trang was humble in defeat.

“I think that all contestants have quite balanced ability, and each person has their own unique features. I think the opportunity was divided equally for everyone.”

The event, sponsored by Pernod Ricard Vietnam, distributor of well known brands including Chivas, Absolut, and Jacob’s Creek, saw six contestants each make a classic cocktail and a signature cocktail. Each drink was rated on the quality of the beverage, the hospitality of the bartender, and its presentation.

Though success was not on the cards, REACH’s food and beverage coordinator, Ngoc Thi Nguyen, praised the organisers of the competition.

“Getting students from different schools to a competition is a good idea, we should organize contests like this more regularly for the students to compare and interact with each other. It’s also an opportunity for them to, how to say, acquire new skills, gain new experience, particularly learn new drinks and prepare more for their future in bartending.”

Diu also saw the amazing benefits of being able to compete with peers from other educational institutions in front of expert judges.

“In this competition, I think the part I like the most is that I had opportunities to interact with the judges as they gave me a lot of useful advice to improve my shortcomings. I learnt a lot from their straightforward critiques.”

Diu and Trang have both just completed REACH’s food and beverage course only graduating last week.

“To be honest I’m really happy and proud of the two contestants that I brought here,” Ngoc said. “This competition... is an occasion for them to compare and interact with other contestants. With Diu in particular, I’m indeed very content because she was so clever in transforming her submission, from something she didn’t do well, into something great. In general, Diu is really clever, skilful, delicate and confident as well.”

There are plans to hold future inter school competitions with all three competing schools signed up to a cooking challenge in the near future. 

Students have yet to be selected for the cooking challenge but Trang is ready with her advice.

“I want to tell them that people should be confident about themselves. And if they can keep the belief of what they are doing, they will definitely succeed.”

REACH’s food and beverage course is currently recruiting students. You can find out more here: 

You can also help us train more disadvantaged youth and support their participation in programs like the Interschool Bartending Competition by donating to our Global Giving campaign here:

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