Four bartenders are off to Miami to compete for the prize of a trip to Nicaragua after triumphing in a competition run by Flor de Caña rum.
The competition is part of the brand’s UK bartender advocacy programme, Rum Frontiers, which paired eight leading bartenders from top London bars with aspiring up-and-coming talent for mentoring.
After final cocktail presentations, the winners were declared as Marco Semeraro from Zuma, mentored by Spencer Large from the Jamie Oliver Group, and Steve Lawson of Mash London, mentored by Elliot Ball of The Cocktail Trading Co.
The pairs now go through to a final head-to-head in Miami where the winner will receive the trip of a lifetime to Nicaragua, the home of Flor de Caña.
Phil Keene, on-trade director for the brand’s distributor Whyte & Mackay, said: “Our first Rum Frontiers event was a great success. The skill and knowledge of the bartenders and mentors who participated in the event was absolutely exceptional and as such, the judging process was one of the hardest and closest I have ever seen. Congratulations to all participants and we wish our finalists all the best as they head through to compete in Miami.”
Guests at the Rum Frontiers final in London last week enjoyed Flor de Caña rums and cocktails as well as a selection of Nicaraguan street food and a soundtrack of Latin house music.
As the leading rum brand in Central America, the ambassador of Nicaragua is an active partner of Flor de Caña’s Rum Frontiers programme. Her Excellency Guisell Morales-Echaverry said: “It has been inspiring to see the talent of London embracing Flor de Caña. They demonstrated such flair, creating cocktails that are respectful of both our culture and heritage, whilst still incorporating their own innovative and modern twist. I too would like to wish the finalists the best of luck for the next stage in Miami.”
The other 11 mentors were Max Chater, Liam Cotter, Francois Bertrand of MARC Group, Joseph Lewis-White of The Savoy, Tiago Mira of The Ritz, Constanca Raposo Cordeiro of Peg + Patriot, Russell Burgess of Loves Company, Georgi Radev of Mahiki, Danilo Tersigni of Mr Fogg’s, Filippo Previero of Cahoots, and Tiziano Tazzo of Zuma.
Pictured (left to right): Spencer Large, Marco Semeraro, Steve Lawson and Elliot Ball.