Bartenders Put Everything Into Zero-Waste Cocktail Competition

Rojanat Charoensri, left, the winner of Thailand’s first zero-waste cocktail contest on June 19, 2019 at Suk Bar.
Rojanat Charoensri, left, the winner of Thailand’s first zero-waste cocktail contest on June 19, 2019 at Suk Bar.

BANGKOK — An alcoholic concoction named “Salad Story” edged out three other competitors at Sul Bar in Thong Lor on Wednesday to win Thailand’s first-ever zero-waste cocktail competition.

Rojanat Charoensri, 37, the bartender behind the winning drink, says that sustainable cocktails are still in their inception in Thailand but could very well be part of an environmentally friendly future.

The bartender, now serving at ABar at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park after 13 years in the trade, made sure no ingredient went to waste: from the head of a carrot, to rebrewed tea, to honey collected from the hotel’s back garden.

Salad Story cocktail. Photo: Zero Waste Cocktail Competition / Courtesy
Salad Story cocktail. Photo: Zero Waste Cocktail Competition / Courtesy

“Salad Story”, intended to show that interesting experiences can begin with a salad, was based on a concoction of malt whisky, carrot juice, tea, balsamic vinegar and cabbage.

Rojanat hopes the cocktail will soon be available at ABar. For now, as the winner of the competition sponsored by French syrup company Giffard and the NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences in Thailand, Rojanat is off on an all-expenses paid trip to Yangon next month to meet famed American zero-waste bartender Jen Queen.

The other three contestants were Chayanee Wongsuriyanan, a Thai amateur bartender; Fabio Brugnolaro, an Italian bartender in charge of mixology at Sul Bar; and Son Nguyen, the Vietnamese beverage manager at Le Meridien Hotel.

Mark Lloyd, a Bangkok-based hospitality consultant, zero-waste campaigner and one of the competition’s three judges, observes that zero-waste cocktails are becoming popular in other cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore. But he believes there is a special market in Thailand because of the country’s strong agricultural tradition.

Lloyd is currently working to link up farmers and bartenders with an emphasis on locally-sourced produce. “We need to push everybody,” he said.

Chayanee’s “Coffee Cocktail.”
Chayanee’s “Coffee Cocktail.”

Rojanat Charoensri, the winner of Thailand’s first zero-waste cocktail contest on June 19, 2019 at Suk Bar. Photo: Zero Waste Cocktail Competition / Courtesy
Rojanat Charoensri, the winner of Thailand’s first zero-waste cocktail contest on June 19, 2019 at Suk Bar. Photo: Zero Waste Cocktail Competition / Courtesy

“Till Love Runs Out."
“Till Love Runs Out.”

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