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These Asia-based bartenders are making drinks at Tales of the Cocktail ’17

Charmaine Ann Thio (far right) at last year's Tales of the Cocktail. Photo: Screenshot / CAP 2016 video.

They’ll be in New Orleans as part of this year’s Cocktail Apprentice Program. By Natasha Hong.

Six bartenders from Asia have been named for this year’s Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP), Tales of the Cocktail’s annual roster of bartenders tasked to keep the conference’s seminars and events watered.

The 40-strong contingent from the US and the rest of the world are tiered by coat colours, each pointing to their level of experience in the program. First year apprentices wear red jackets, grey is for leaders, black for assistant managers and white for the CAP veterans who manage the various event bars during the week. This year, Asia’s represented by three Red Coat and three Grey Coat apprentices. They are:

Red Coat Apprentices
Sandeep Hathiramani, Stockton, Hong Kong
Vanessa Victoria Lim, (formerly from 28 Hong Kong Street), Singapore
Bob Louison, Bob’s Speakeasy Bar, Seoul

Grey Coat Apprentices
John Nugent, Lily & Bloom, Hong Kong
Charmaine Ann Thio, 28 Hong Kong Street, Singapore
Taeeun Yoon, Alice, Seoul

Bartenders selected for the program are required to cover their own airfare to the conference, but will have their accommodation, breakfast and lunch covered throughout the span of Tales. Returning for her second year as a Grey Coat, Charmaine Ann Thio said CAP’s been a valuable opportunity for networking and getting to know the global bar community. “You get to meet bartenders from literally all over the world, and as a Grey Coat, I get the opportunity to learn how to manage events and speakers at a big event like Tales,” Thio says. Other Asia-based bartenders who have previously attended the program also include Chris Lowder, Gina Marie Kent, Logan Demmy, Hannah Waters, Antonio Lai and Amanda Wan.

Participants also benefit from a scholarship fund that they can tap on when applying for trade-related certification and courses. CAP alumni are also eligible to apply for the BAR Scholarship Program, which picks out candidates to attend the BAR 5-Day Spirits & Mixology Certification Program in New York.

Registration for the year’s Cocktail Apprentice Program at Tales of the Cocktail usually commence at the beginning of the year – so if you’ve got this on your career development plan, stay tuned. For more information, see their website.

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