Ruben Sudmeier Wins Amaro Montenegro’s Vero Bartender: Sharing The Essence Competition

Ruben Sudmeier of Cafe Niebla in Spain has been crowned winner of Amaro Montenegro’s third edition of its Vero Bartender global cocktail competition, which took place in the brand home of Bologna, Italy

Returning after a two-year hiatus due to the global pandemic, the live competition took place with a theme of ‘Sharing the Essence’. 14 finalists were invited to create a large-format sharing cocktail that tells the story of a metaphorical or physical journey that has inspired them and celebrates meaningful togetherness following the lockdowns. 

Ruben – who is the head bartender at Cafe Niebla in Salamanca – won with his cocktail creation called Wanderer, which features Amaro Montenegro, Pistachio Nut Fat Washed Black Bush Irish Whiskey and balsamic vinegar (recipe in notes to editors). Other finalists included Mia Kumari of The American Bar at The Savoy and Simone Corsini of The Four Seasons in Florence. 

Commenting on Ruben’s winning recipe, Matteo Bonoli, Master Herbalist at Amaro Montenegro and member of the  judging panel, 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”.

23 year old Ruben takes home a €6,000 worth trip to BCB Brooklyn in June 2023 with Amaro Montenegro Global Brand Ambassador Rudi Carraro.  He also attended, along with the other contestants, a week-long Amaro Montenegro residency trip to Italy to take part in brand experiences and seminars in the days leading up to the final. 

From an initial 1000 entrants, 14 bartenders from ten different countries competed in the live global final, recreating their winning cocktails from the national finals. The competition took place in front of a judging panel that consisted of Amaro Montenegro’s master herbalist, Matteo Bonoli; drinks writer Alice Lacelles; Head Bartender at Langham Hotel 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. 

Reflecting on his win, Ruben Sudmeier, said: 

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

Wanderer (recipe) 

Amaro Montenegro – 4 cl

Pistachio Nut Fat Washed Black Bush – 3 cl

Vinagre en Rama Ximénez Spinola – 5cl

Premio Tincture –  1 dash

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