This month, Aria bartender Calvin Ding represented Beijing at the 2015 China Tourism and Hotel Service Competition held in Chengdu.
Calvin stood out over 120 industry talents from over 30 provinces who participated in the competition and was named champion under the bartending category. Mr. Du Jiang, deputy chief of the China Tourism Bureau and vice chairman of the China Tourism Association, attended the closing ceremony and presented the awards to the champions.
Twenty-four-year-old Calvin has been working at China World Hotel, Beijing’s Aria bar for two years. Prior to the hotel, he worked at Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi.
A true lover of bartending, Calvin believes that interest plus knowledge is the perquisite to being a good bartender. His first mentor was the former mixologist of Aria bar, Henning Neufeld, who is now the chief bartender at the number one German bar Schumanns.
Calvin is also a certified professional bartender/mixologist through an accredited educational institution in Australia. He gained extensive wine knowledge though the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses and obtained Level 2 intermediate certificate in Wines and Spirits.
Being an outgoing young professional, Calvin enjoys communicating with his guests.
“I love talking to my guests while they are sitting at the bar. You can always get fast and direct feedback of the products, and sometimes even learn alcohol trends and knowledge from guests,” he said.
Calvin enjoys putting his thoughts in the creation of cocktails.
“I find out that a lot of our guests enjoy eating the popcorns we serve at Aria bar, and that’s when I started to think about creating a cocktail using this element. I mixed bourbon, lime juice and self-made popcorn syrup for the drink, and my guests loved it,” said Calvin proudly. “I would add bitter to it if it’s for male guests, for it would enhance the aroma and flavour.”
China World Hotel, Beijing, with its highly acclaimed restaurants, soars over the China World Trade Center complex, including the China World Exhibition Center and shopping mall, in the heart of the city’s diplomatic and business district. Hailed as one of the first three hotels in mainland China to be awarded with a Platinum Five Star rating by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), China World Hotel, Beijing has been named one of the world’s best hotels by both Condé Nast Traveller and Travel + Leisure magazines. It was also voted “Best Hotel in Beijing” by Euromoney, Frommer’s Guide and Finance Asia; “Best Business Hotel in Beijing” by Business Traveller China and Asia Pacific, TTG Asia, The Asset and Asian Legal Business; ranked one of the “Top Ten Business Hotels in China – Golden Pillow Award” by 21st Century Business Herald; and named one of “The Top 50 Hotels in China” by Forbes and Travel + Leisure China.