22-year-old Nicolae Arman wins Montreal Bartender contest with a tasty fable

Nicolae Arman, bartender from The Cold Room, is one of the four winners of the Canadian Hennessy bartender contest.


Nicolae Arman proved that age is nothing but a number as he nabbed Montreal’s top bartending spot in Hennessy bartender contest. At 22, Arman is truly breaking boundaries.

The grueling competition held at Nacarat pitted 14 contestants in a series of high-pressured but joyful elimination rounds. Arman, who propelled himself to the bartending crown, proved he can hold his own as he impressed judges with his skills and creativity.


Introvert, it’s a total opposing personality that comes out while he’s bartending. The 22 year-old, who’s been bartending for only three years, is bold, creative and always pushing his own skills.


Representing the Coldroom, on Saint Vincent Street, Arman has seen off the challenge which tested every single skill that makes a bartender truly great.

“Be creative and do not be afraid to use unusual ingredients.”

“I am shaking tastes, telling stories and mixing spirits”, says Arman while describing his craft. Born in Russia, the young bartender moved to Ukraine, then Moldavie before immigrating to Canada. Needless to say that he breathes and lives by the motto ‘Never stop. Never settle’. “I still have to decide if it is fortunately or unfortunately, but it sure is me,” says the winner.



For the contest, he decided to dig a bit in Richard Hennessy’s story. “When I found out how adventurous his life was, I decided to create a rich and complex drink including all the spectra of tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, smoky and dry”, he explains. And here was born ‘Fable’, a daring cocktail that didn’t go unnoticed.

While all the competitors were outstanding, Arman truly stood out as the best of the best creating a cocktail that goes beyond taste; a cocktail that tells a story.

Make your own Fable.
Here’s the recipe:

– 1 1/4 Hennessy V.S.O.P.
– 1/2 Montenegro
– 1/4 Benedectine
– 1/4 Lemon Juice
– 2 dashes of Angostura
– Barspoon of Ardbeg Ten years old

Shake, double strain into a coupette or any Nick and Nora glass (just make sure that there is no ice), garnish with a lemon zest and cheers!

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