Bui Hoang Nguyen: Mad Botanist (Hanoi)

Bui Hoang Nguyen is the Head Bartender at Mad Botanist in Hanoi. He makes us two cocktails, one with Gin and Campari and the second with Luxardo Maraschino and Roselle Switchel.

Bui Hoang introduce yourself
My name is Bui Hoang Nguyen and I’m from Hanoi in Vietnam. The first time I saw my older brother doing flair bartending, I thought that’s what I want to do for a job. So I actually began my career flair bartending, but now I am more interested in mixology and classic bartending as I really like working with various flavours. I began my career in Hanoi at the Rooftop Bar, then Camelia Lounge before starting here at the Mad Botanist as head bartender, which has been my role for the last two years. I came here because I love gin and we are a gin bar. Even though we are focusing on gin, (we have more than a hundred different types) we work with other spirits too and change the menu twice a year, regarding the season and available produce.

The classic you want to show us
Negroni
25ml of Boodles Gin
25ml of Martini Rosso
25ml of Campari

The bar you dream of
My dream bar would be a small speakeasy in Saigon, focussing on service with room for no more than eight customers at once. The interior would feature pictures of botanicals and the music would be old jazz. I’d also like to have a short cocktail menu that changed monthly.

What do you do in your time off
I read cocktail books like Liquid Intelligence from Booker & Dax when I have spare time. At night I go to bars like Ne Cocktail Bar and Polite & Co.

The spirit you like the most
I like gin because it’s flavour profile is very colourful and it makes a drink special. I really like Nordes for instance, (which is a Spanish gin) because of its particular smell and taste.

What makes a good cocktail
I think the way it looks is important, and the attitude of the bartender too. After that it’s about fresh ingredients, so you can make homemade preparations.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I enjoy using botanicals to infuse with my gin.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Bacalao
50ml of Gin infused with Magie d’Orient Tea
25ml of Roselle Switchel
15ml of Luxardo Maraschino
15ml of Lime Juice
1 Egg White

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
You need to go to Atlas for their gin collection and Manhattan Bar in Singapore.

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