Countdown to naming the UK winner of Bacardi Legacy

Bacardi Legacy three finalists

After five months promoting their cocktails, the three finalists in the UK’s Bacardi Legacy competition are set to find out this week which one of them will be heading to Sydney to take part in the global final in May.

The three bartenders were picked as the most promising finalists at an event in London in September last year. They are Ben Davies from The Suburbs in Chester, Matt Fairhurst from City Social in London and Ally Martin from Peg & Patriot in London.

Since then, they have been running marketing campaigns for the cocktails and travelling around the UK and overseas to gain listings. Their campaigns and achievements are being assessed by a team of judges before announcing the overall UK winner on Tuesday (March 24).

Benji Davies

Ben Davies created his serve Golden Age, to celebrate Bacardi’s heritage. “I wanted to create a drink that went back to more than one point in the Bacardi story, something to tap into the rich heritage and present everyday ingredients in extraordinary ways,” Ben explains.

His marketing campaign has taken him on an experience he will never forget, including travelling to Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore to launch India’s Bacardi Legacy cocktail competition. He has also gained impressive listings at UK bars including Trailer Happiness in London, Cane & Grain in Manchester and The Bon Vivant in Edinburgh.

Ben adds: “We have been on such an incredible journey and it has really built my confidence and made me believe that anything is possible. I think it has definitely been one of the best experiences of my life.”

Matt Fairhurst

Matt Fairhurst has seen his creation Tempting Fate become a fixture on the cocktail menu at The Savoy in London. “I think I am the first person that’s ever had a drink on the Savoy menu that’s not worked there or submitted to the cocktail book,” Matt says. “It has been put on as cocktail of the month and they may list it beyond that, which is very humbling.”

Matt’s focus with Tempting Fate was to create a cocktail that was so simple it could be made anywhere and he wanted to do something a bit different with his marketing campaign. From taking his first long-haul flight to Hong Kong to climbing Scafell Pike 3,209 feet above sea level, Matt put the ball in other people’s courts to suggest things for him to do to “tempt fate”.

He explains: “I can make the drink anytime during the activity or challenge, but this way people feel that they are involved in the journey which makes it more memorable.”

Ally Martin

Ally Martin has been going around the world doing guest bartending shifts in places such as Moscow, Copenhagen and the Netherlands, showcasing his serve Young Cuban.

“My inspiration was the cocktail culture that’s exploded in the last 10 to 15 years and I wanted to showcase this renaissance by doing as many guest shifts as I possibly could,” Ally says. “This meant not necessarily just going to the best bars around the world, but also looking at areas of the world where cocktail culture has really started to pick up speed.”

Ally has also used Instagram, taking a picture of his drink in a new place every day for 100 days, and is launching two videos, one of them about the inspiration behind the drink and the other a film giving viewers a step-by-step guide for how to make it.

The three finalists’ winning cocktails. Click on the name to visit the cocktails’ Facebook pages.

Golden Age by Ben Davies
45ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
10ml Crème de banana
10ml Yellow Chartreuse
20ml Burnt butter syrup
25ml Fresh lime juice
1 egg white
Garnish: Slice of dried banana
Dry shake all the ingredients, shake again with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupette.

Tempting Fate by Matt Fairhurst
50ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
20ml Martini Rosso
20ml Pressed apple juice
10ml St Germain elderflower liqueur
2 dashes of sherry vinegar
Garnish: 2 sage leaves and a lemon zest twist
Stir all the ingredients with ice and serve up in a chilled coupette with a lemon zest.

Young Cuban by Ally Martin
50ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
20ml Lemon juice
15ml Orgeat
10ml Fino sherry
Garnish: 4 sprigs of dill
Shake all the ingredients with ice, then double strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Garnish with the sprigs of dill.

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