A Sip of Success: World-Class Cocktails and an Outstanding Guest Bartender in Buddha-Bar Budapest

Jennifer Le Nechet was the first female bartender to gain the title of World Class Bartender last year. She visited the Hungarian capital to give a masterclass about Tanqueray Gin at Buddha-Bar Budapest and be one of the judges during the 2nd Disznókő Tokaji Cocktail Competition. Just a day before the event, I sat down with Jennifer in the lobby of the renowned hotel to ask her a few questions.

– You were the first woman to win the most prestigious title of the bartender world. How did you feel after the finals?

It was a big challenge, actually, but I was happy beyond words, of course.

– Do you think it’s more difficult to achieve something as a woman in your profession?

No, absolutely not! It’s not about gender at all. In terms of number, it is true that there are more men in the industry, but I have never had a bad experience because I’m a woman. We all work hard, that the only thing that matters.

– Where do you get your inspiration from?

Many techniques come from the kitchen. The World Class Bartender contest is not really about coming up with a new recipe, as you need to create a story and build a whole world around your creation. For example, I used the idea of a computer game I was familiar with to create a post-apocalyptic scenery when I had to make my own bar during the contest. In general, my biggest inspiration comes from art, I would say, movies, music, photography mainly.

– Is it your first time in Budapest? How do you like the city so far?

Yes, it is my first time here, I’m just about to look around a bit, but I’m very excited to be here!

As for now, Hungarian bartenders don’t have a chance to enter the prestigious competition, but Buddha-Bar Budapest’s Director of Food and Beverages, Gergely Borsos would like to change that in the future. “I would like the talented Hungarian bartenders to actually have a chance to compete, to represent the country on an international event and to gain some very significant and meaningful experiences. They might not win at first, but just to have the possibility to enter such a competition, is a great thing itself.”