Creating the Legacy…
BACARDÍ, the world’s best-selling premium white rum has revealed the finalists of this year’s UK Legacy Cocktail Competition following an intense series of regional heats. Eight bartenders from five regional finals held in London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester and Ireland, will go on to face each other in the national final on 7th February 2013 in London, to create a truly classic cocktail that will represent their country in the Global Final.
The finalists of this year’s BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail Competition are:
- Iain McPherson – Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
- Michael Braun – Bibis Italianissimo, Leeds
- Sam Kershaw – Babington House, Somerset
- Nelson Bernardes – The Waldorf, London
- Tom Walker – Savoy’s American Bar, London
- Ali Reynolds – Hawksmoor Spitafields, London
- Francesco Turro-Turrini – The Luggage Room, London
- Darren Costello - Homage to Sitges, Ireland
In just four years, the BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail Competition has grown to become one of the most rigorous and prestigious in the world. The competition is a celebration of the creativity and innovation of today’s UK bar scene, and aims to find a BACARDÍ cocktail which will become a legacy worthy of the world’s leading white rum, and ultimately, become as popular and celebrated around the world as cocktails such as the BACARDÍ Daiquiri or the BACARDÍ Mojito. This year was no exception, as BACARDÍ is celebrating its 150th year and the stakes were high at the regional heats.
Edinburgh’s regional final was dominated by drinks which used the lightness of wines and vermouths to compliment BACARDÍ Superior’s signature dry style. However, it was the exotic Eastern inspired recipe from Voodoo Rooms’ own Iain McPherson that took the top spot. His drink, Siam Saoco combined roasted coconut water, Thai basil, agave syrup and BACARDÍ Superior.
Michael Braun of Bibis Italianissimo in Leeds stole the crown at the Manchester final, with his professional flair and in-depth knowledge of the BACARDÍ story. His winning cocktail Fichi Selvaggi, elegantly combined this knowledge with a fantastic recipe inspired by the iconic Italian flavours of his workplace – homemade fig compote, cloudy apple juice, balsamic vinegar, maraschino liqueur combined with Bacardi Superior,
The Bristol heat was steeped in nostalgia as the competitors delved deep into their childhood and family memories to produce strong and stirred down drinks. Legacy veteran Sam Kershaw of Babington House was triumphant with Favourite Frost, a crisp, clean and suitably glacial recipe honouring a favourite family pet as well as paying tribute to iconic cocktails including the Mary Pickford and the Daiquiri.
Representing some of London’s most famous bars, the pressure was palpable as the sheer number and quality of the entrants meant that the judges took four bartenders through to the UK Final. Nelson Bernardes of The Waldorf created a blend of basil, celery, lime, apple juice, black pepper and BACARDÍ Superior to create an esteemed drink called The Perfect Host, as homage to legendary bartending hosts such as Peter Dorelli. In a similar ilk but with an American twist, Tom Walker of the Savoy’s American Bar created a fresh, clean and easy to replicate drink called Maid in Cuba, consisting of Bacardi Superior, a dash of absinthe, sugar, lime and soda. Taking a trip down memory lane and using ingredients from family-owned companies, Ali Reynolds from Hawksmoor Spitafields created the aptly named Family Legacy, while Francesco Turro-Turrini from The Luggage Room paid homage to the godfather of Tiki drinks, Don the Beachcomber, with a twist on a classic Mai-Tai called Pretty in Pink.
Still to come is the final regional heat, which will see the best that Ireland has to offer go head-to- head for the last spot in the sterling UK Legacy Final line up. The Irish regional final will take place on 28th January, just 10 days before the UK Final.
Rum Databank: Bacardi