The annual Bacardi Legacy competition has helped to re-establish Bacardi as a bartender’s favourite for quality cocktails. It is inspired by the rum’s “legacy” as the ingredient used for decades in Daiquiris, Cuba Libres and Mojitos, aiming to find a new generation of “legacy” cocktails.
The competition has a unique structure that highlights that it is not just about creating a good cocktail on the night but also about creating something that other bars would want on their drinks list. The three “most promising” competitors are selected by the judges, and they spend the next 10 months until November promoting their cocktail to the trade and consumers for one of them to be chosen the “ultimate winner” the following year.
Last year’s three “most promising” bartenders were Erik Lorincz, now head bartender at the American Bar at the Savoy, Matt Dakers of Trailer Happiness in Notting Hill and Scott Tyrer, now at Jake’s Bar in Leeds. They were reunited at the 2010 finals held on February 3 (through into the early hours of February 4) at the Freemason’s Hall in London’s Covent Garden. Here, it was announced that the overall winner was Matt with his cocktail Angels’ Draft, which will join last year’s winning cocktail, the Mulata Daisy by Ago Perrone, as a Bacardi Legacy cocktail. Here is the recipe:
40ml Bacardi Superior rum
10ml Yellow Chartreuse
20ml Lime juice
10ml Egg white
1 dash Grapefruit bitters
2-3 Mint leaves
Shake all ingredients with cubed ice and fine-strain into a chilled coupette glass. Garnish with a grapefruit zest sprayed around the glass and then discard. Add a mint leaf to finish.
But it is now the turn of the next wave of “most promising” bartenders to compete over the next 10 months to be named the “ultimate winner” in 2012. After the regional heats in October, finalists battled it out last week in front of an esteemed panel of judges who included mixologist Peter Dorelli of the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild, rum ambassador Ian Burrell, Bacardi global brand ambassador David Cordóba and Jake Burger, founder of Portobello Star in Notting Hill.
The three “most promising” were announced as Metinee Kongsrivilai from The Bon Vivant in Edinburgh, Zdenek Kastanek from Quo Vadis in London, and Jody Monteith from Manchester drinks consultancy The Liquorists. David Paskins, senior brand manager for Bacardi, says they will now work with Bacardi over the next year “to see whose drink truly engages both consumers and trade, and therefore most deserves to be included in the Bacardi Cocktail Legacy”.
Metinee’s cocktail is The Matinee:
50ml Bacardi Superior rum
12.5ml Martini Rosso
12.5ml Lemon juice
12.5ml Vanilla gomme (1:1)
10ml Egg white
About 4 Kaffir lime leaves, preferably fresh. Leaves can be frozen, but dry ones are also fine.
Put all ingredients into a Boston shaker, with the leaves in first. Muddle, dry shake, then shake with ice and double strain into a coupette. Garnish with a frozen kaffir lime leaf.
Metinee says the Matinee was inspired by a daytime theatrical performance. “I wanted to create a drink that reflects this definition: something interesting, simple and to be enjoyed at any time of the day, with the star of the show being Bacardi Superior rum,” Metinee explains. “The rich history and heritage of the Bacardí name inspired me to look at my own Thai culture and tradition, particularly in food which plays a predominant role in my family. This prompted me to incorporate Eastern flavours into my cocktail, something that my family would appreciate. The unusual pairing of kaffir lime leaves and vanilla depicts the meeting of east and west within the drink, giving a distinctive complexity. Moreover the flavours complement rather than confuse the delicate characteristics of Bacardi Superior.”
Jody’s cocktail is the Palomino Flor:
60ml Bacardi Superior rum
20ml Cinzano Bianco
10ml Tio Pepe
5ml St Germain
1 inch of celery stalk
Lightly muddle the celery in a Boston glass. Add all ingredients and shake well. Fine strain into a chilled short goblet or coupette. Garnish with a small short pale yellow stalk and leaf from celery heart.
Jody says that the inspiration for his cocktail was “my desire to create a replicable contemporary classic that captures the essence of this iconic brand. While I wanted to showcase the aromatic, floral and almost vegetal qualities I find in Bacardi rum, I also wanted the drink to reflect the clean crispness of the liquid and to match the way it looks in the bottle. I wanted a pale green hue to mirror the Georgia Green colour of the bottle, and as such, the use of Tio Pepe, Cinzano Bianco and St Germain were as important not only for their perfectly complementary flavour profiles but also for their visual impact on the end result. Overall I wanted my legacy to mirror that of Bacardi: lasting, complex and sophisticated.”
Zdenek’s cocktail is La Hermosa:
60ml Bacardi Superior rum
25ml Lemon juice
20ml La Gitana manzanilla sherry
15ml Triple sec
4 dashes Yellow Chartreuse
Put all ingredients into a highball, add crushed ice, then swizzle until diluted and chilled to perfection. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of mint.
To explain the inspiration for his cocktail, Zdenek tells a little story. “Once upon a time there was a girl called Hermosa. Her mother was typically French: a bitter character on the surface, but really as sweet as honey. Her father was a Spanish sailor. He was rough like the ocean, but charismatic still and a good man. Hermosa lived a simple life in Cuba. Everybody loved her, the men for her beauty and big heart, and the women for her smile and optimism. Hermosa’s life was as sweet as an orange, until one day everything turned as sour as a lemon. Her family had to leave their home and move to Puerto Rico. However, the journey bound her family together. Hermosa grew up and met a charming and exotic man who smelled of almonds and oranges. The oranges reminded her of her happy life in Cuba and they fell in love.”