Phan Hà is the head bartender at Polite & Co, in Hanoi. He makes two cocktails for us, one with Gin and Chai Tea and the second with Yuzu and Pandan.
Phan introduce yourself
My name is Phan Hà, I’m 23 years old and I’ve been the head bartender at Polite & Co in Hanoi for 2 years. I always wanted to become a bartender, (even though I studied land management) because every time I make a cocktail I feel happy watching my customer drinking it. I love to see peoples emotions when they tase my drinks. I would like to bring more products and techniques from around the world to Vietnam to help improve the industry here. The cocktail scene in Hanoi really started to take off three years ago, and before that most bartenders in Vietnam thought it was cool to make cocktails, but they didn’t really see it as a career. Now that’s changing. Our menu here at Polite and Co is about the different districts in Hanoi, and our new menu coming in July will be about cocktails around the world.
The classic you want to show us
30ml of Ophir Gin
30ml of Red Dolin infused with Chai Tea
30ml of Campari
The bar you dream of
My dream bar would be a small speakeasy bar in Hanoi behind a barbershop for around 15 people, with only seats at the bar. It would allow me to have a connection with every customer who comes into the bar. The music would be jazzy but too loud so the customers can speak easily with me. I would like to name the bar Speak Low.
What do you do in your time off
I like to go to high buildings and sit and watch people from above, while I read books. It’s quiet and relaxing.
The spirit you like the most
I love whisky and that’s why I came to work here because they have the biggest whisky collection in Hanoi. It’s difficult for people to like whisky as the taste is strong, but I like to challenge customers with whisky cocktails. I prefer to work with Scotch Whisky.
What makes a good cocktail
In a cocktail, you need to taste the flavour of the main ingredient whatever it is and the other ingredients are just there to support it. For instance, my signature cocktail is about fruits and flowers so you need to taste them.
What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I love to play with saffron because the flavour is so unique.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
50ml of Gin infused with Chrysanthemum
15ml of Choya Yuzu
30ml of St Germain
40ml of Carambola Juice
5ml of Pandan Syrup
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
You need to go to Singapore to the Manhattan Bar. They are very knowledgeable there and I love their style.