Meet the Hampton Water Rosé Cocktail Champion

Jon Bon Jovi crowns Chicago’s Nigal Vann winner of the first Rosé Rock Star cocktail competition, and we've got the recipe

Meet the Hampton Water Rosé Cocktail Champion
Jon Bon Jovi (left) and bartender Nigal Vann celebrate Vann's Hampton Water Rosé Rock Star Competition victory with a guitar signed by Bon Jovi. (Courtesy of Hampton Water)
Aug 12, 2022

What could be more refreshing on a hot summer day than a glass of chilled rosé? Perhaps a chilled cocktail featuring … rosé. Jon Bon Jovi and his son Jesse Bongiovi, founders of Hampton Water Rosé, have launched an annual Rosé Rock Star Competition to challenge bartenders across the country to develop the most delicious cocktail starring Hampton Water Rosé as the lead ingredient.

Nigal Vann, a bartender at The Berkshire Room in Chicago and founder of Vannity Cocktails, took home first place in this year’s inaugural competition with a cocktail he calls The Runaway, which mixes rosé, cachaça, cucumber, lime and agave (recipe below). The drink is named for the band’s debut single, released in 1983–and their first top 40 hit. “Rosé can be delicate in cocktails,” Vann told Wine Spectator. “When adding other ingredients to the mix you want to make sure the flavors of the wine don’t take a back seat when it comes to the taste … that’s why I played with cucumber and celery shrub in The Runaway.”

Vann beat out four runner-up finalists—Michael Guzman, Lauren Pellecchia, Tobias Steeves and Aistis Zidanavicius—in the wine-based cocktail competition, hosted in partnership with United States Bartenders’ Guild. The finals took place in July in the Hamptons, with contestants joined by Bon Jovi and Bongiovi.

“Watching [the contestants] create their drinks was not only inspiring but showed how versatile Hampton Water can be,” said Bongiovi. “Each of this year's competitors really raised the bar for future competitions.” Hampton Water is made by French winemaker Gérard Bertrand in southern France’s Languedoc region.

The Runaway, by Nigal Vann

  • 2 ounces Hampton Water Languedoc Rosé
  • ¾ ounce cachaça
  • 1 ½ ounce cucumber agave (equal parts cucumber juice and agave)
  • 1 lime (½ ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice, plus a twist)
  • ¼ ounce oleo-saccharum (a mixture made by coating citrus peels in sugar; it can be made at home or purchased where you find other specialty cocktail ingredients)
  • 1 ounce egg white
  • Dash of celery bitters
  • Black sea salt for garnish

1. Combine rosé, cachaça, cucumber agave, lime juice, oleo-saccharum, egg white and bitters in a cocktail shaker and mix vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds.

2. Add ice and shake again.

3. Strain into a coupe glass, express lime peel over top and garnish with a pinch of black sea salt.


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