Hamish Smith, Alex Kratena,

Mia Kumari of The American Bar at The Savoy was announced the winner of the global bartender competition the Vero Bartender UK final. 

Ten finalists made their cocktail in front of a live panel of judges, comprising Tayer + Elementary's Alex Kratena (pictured left), alongside Hamish Smith, editor of Class magazine (centre left), Donovan Bar's Cristiana Pirinu (centre right) who won the UK title in 2019 and Rudi Carraro, Amaro Montenegro’s global brand ambassador (right).

Kumari (centre) prevailed at The Light Bar, Shoreditch, with her cocktail creation Sunita, made from Amaro Montenegro (1.4oz), apricot yogurt washed Pinot Grigio (1.4oz), Yellow Chartreuse (0.3oz) and citrus balsamic (1 dash). It was garnished with citrus soaked apricot and served over ice from a picnic decanter bottle.

She will now compete in the global final of The Vero Bartender in Italy. As well as this, Kumari wins an Amaro Montenegro residency trip to Italy during the week of the Global Final to take part in brand experiences and seminars in Emilia Romagna.

Kumari will also have the opportunity to meet and spend time with some of the most influential bartenders in the world; previous years have been judged by the likes of Erik Lorincz, Salvatore Calabrese, Alex Kratena and Peter Dorelli.

After a two-year hiatus due to the global pandemic, The Vero Bartender returned this year for a third time. The Italian word “vero” in The Vero Bartender translates to “true” in English. It stands for the brand’s authentic heritage and the genuine human connections it generates when served. The theme for 2022’s competition was ‘Sharing the Essence’ where bartenders had to create a large-format sharing cocktail that tells the story of a metaphorical or physical journey or adventure that has inspired them.

Kumari told Class: "My drink was named after my aunt and inspired by what she has taught me of my herritage and the amazing moments my family have shared with me. It feels unreal to win. I don't know how to process it - my knees are still knocking together. It was amazing - I'm really grateful."

Kratena added: “The Amaro Montenegro Vero Bartender Competition is one of the most respected events in the UK’s bartending calendar. The standard of entries this year was exceptionally high and we were lucky enough to taste some amazing cocktails. We are proud to announce Mia Kumari as the winner of the UK final and wish her luck in the Global Finals in Italy.”

The finalists competing were:

Dominic Horsley, The Botanist, Leeds

Emilio Giovanazzi, Gleneagles Hotel, Perth and Kinross

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Mia Kumari, American Bar at the Savoy, London