The final countdown to this year’s Bacardi Legacy

Jody Monteith, Metinee Kongsrivilai and Zdenek Kastanek
It has been a busy year for the three bartenders who, in February 2011, won through to the final stage of the annual Bacardi Legacy competition. Metinee Kongsrivilai from The Bon Vivant in Edinburgh, Zdenek Kastanek from Quo Vadis in London and Jody Monteith of consultancy The Liquorists (pictured) were named the three “most promising” finalists, challenging them to promote their competition cocktail to bars and consumers.

As well as gaining listings for their drinks on bar menus in the UK and overseas, the trio have been coming up with some inventive marketing ideas. This weekend, Metinee is promoting her Matinee cocktail by putting on a pantomime, Jack and the Booze Stock at Callooh Callay in Shoreditch, London, featuring a cast made up of mixologists such as Paul Mant, Sean Ware and Shervene Shahbazkhani. But as they prepare for the final reckoning at an event in London on February 9, another eight mixologists are coming up behind them to compete for the coming year’s places.

Now in its fourth year, the Legacy competition attracts entries from top bartenders across the country, with the recipes listed on the official website. With many top mixologists taking part, it must have been difficult for the judges to reduce that number down to the eight who came top in five regional finals held in London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham.

Dan Bovey
Below, we provide the recipes for the eight finalists’ cocktails. We have already been contacted by one of the eight finalists, Dan Bovey of Sahara in Reading, who was keen for us to publish his recipe on our website so it would be only fair to start off with his cocktail, El Momento Perfecto. Dan, who won the Bristol heat, impressed judges who praised “his confidence and humility behind the bar [that] perfectly complemented his winning Bacardi cocktail, an elegant, stirred drink”. His promotional activity included creating a website dedicated to the drink. You can even “follow” Dan’s cocktail on Twitter at @momento_perfect

El Momento Perfecto

45ml Bacardi Superior
25ml Lillet Blanc
20ml Byrrh
10ml Campari
4 Dashes of orange bitters
1 spoon of Strong breakfast marmalade

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir to dissolve the marmalade. Add cubed ice and stir until chilled. Julep-strain into an Old Fashioned glass over cubed ice and garnish with a lemon twist.

Christian Tirel
Nottingham’s regional final saw Christian Tirel of bar consultancy Barmageddon take the winner’s title after he wowed judges with his clear passion and knowledge of the brand as well as precise bar technique. His cocktail, The Merchant, is a short, strong, punchy drink influenced by Lillet, which stood out for its innovative use of cherry tomatoes. “This cocktail is directly dedicated towards [Bacardi founder] Don Facundo Bacardi Massó himself and his dedication to teaching himself the trade which ultimately led to the innovative techniques used to create Bacardi rum,” Christiane explains. “I feel that this is directly reflected within the current bar industry, with several bartenders now using self-taught methods and techniques.”

The Merchant

40ml Bacardi Superior
15ml Lillet Blanc
15ml Lemon juice
10ml Light agave syrup
1 Cherry tomato

Halve one cherry tomato and muddle it in a Boston glass. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to ensure the agave is dissolved. Add cubed ice and shake hard and then fine-strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a skewered cherry tomato.

Sam Fish
Sam Fish, who looks after training for Leeds-based bar group Mojo, stole the crown at the Manchester final with her “quiet confidence and impeccable technique, manner and knowledge of Bacardi”. Her winning cocktail, Cuban Reviver, demonstrated complexity thanks to its use of pomegranate mixed with Bénédictine. “The whole theme of my drink is based around revival,” Sam says. “Not just in the sense that it is refreshing and ‘reviving’ but it’s also bringing back a classic and more simple way of making drinks.” Sam has created a Facebook page for the cocktail.

Cuban Reviver

50ml Bacardi Superior
12.5ml Bénédictine
12.5ml Lime juice
10ml Egg white
2.5ml Cane syrup
4 dashes of The Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters
25ml Pomegranate Juice

Gordon Purnell
Relative cocktail competition newcomer Gordon Purnell of the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh focused on the decadence of Bacardi’s heritage to take the Edinburgh final title. Demonstrating a great eye for historical detail while entertaining judges along the way, he came up with the Silver Ghost cocktail, described as “innovative yet accessible”.

Silver Ghost

37.5ml Bacardi Superior
25ml Lime juice
25ml Apple juice
12.5ml Velvet Falurnum
12.5ml Rock candy syrup
20ml Egg white
2 pods of cardamom
Garnish of lemon thyme sprigs

Shake all the ingredients hard with ice and strain into the glass.

Tom Aske
Standards were so high at the London heat that the judges chose three winners rather than two. Tom Aske of consultancy Fluid Movement, which runs London bars Purl and The Worship Street Whistling Shop, incorporated a home-made grenadine and a lavender and vanilla shrub into his winning recipe, The Bacardi Cocktail – Cured. “Taking inspiration from the creation and popularity of the Bacardi cocktail, I have created a drink that has a representation of the original recipe with added depth and complexity using port and vinegar to balance acidity and sweetness with the flavour profile of Bacardi,” Tom explains.

The Bacardi Cocktail – Cured

50ml Bacardi Superior
20ml Warres Tawney port
15ml Agave/vanilla syrup
25ml Lime
4 dashes of vanilla bitters
1 dash of egg white

Dry shake all the ingredients, add ice and shake hard. Double strain and garnish with vanilla bitters.

Pete Jeary
By contrast, the second London winner, Pete Jeary of Hawksmoor, presented “a masterclass in simplicity” with his Margaux cocktail which uses only three ingredients. It is named after Margaux Hemingway, the actor who was the grand-daughter of Ernest Hemingway – a legendary fan of a Bacardi-based Daiquiri.


60ml Bacardi Superior
15ml Homemade lime cordial
2.5ml Maraschino Liqueur

Stir all the ingredients in a chilled mixing glass until very cold. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with a small spray of grapefruit zest and a long grapefruit twist.

Chris Moore from The Savoy took the third London place, marrying great flavours with a sense of history with his Encantador cocktail, which is Spanish for delightful or charming as well as “snake charmer”.

Chris Moore

40ml Bacardi Superior
10ml Aperol
10ml Eau de Framboise
20ml Fresh lemon juice
10ml Vanilla syrup
5ml Miclo Framboise eau de vie

Shake hard with mostly cubed and a little crushed ice. Fine-strain into a chilled coupette. Garnish with a lime twist.

The judges also awarded a “wild card” entry to the UK final to one regional competitor who demonstrated exceptional talent. Jamie Jones of Manchester’s Pin Up Lanes impressed the judges with a unique account of Bacardi’s history and its contribution to cocktail culture. His recipe, La Corona de Cuba, and his presence and confidence in presenting scored him highly in the competition.

Jamie Jones
La Corona de Cuba

60ml Bacardi Superior
2ml Laphraoig whisky
15ml Lime juice
3 dashes of Mozart Chocolate Bitters
3 heads of fresh coriander
2 barspoons of caster sugar

Dry shake all the ingredients and then fill the tin with cubed ice. Shake hard until the tin frosts up and then double-strain into a chilled coupette glass. Garnish with coriander leaf in the middle of the foam.

“I live, breathe, eat and sleep cocktails and cocktail history,” Jamie says. “I have drawn inspiration from a pioneering bartender named Eddie Woelke. Eddie is the creator of classics such as the Mary Pickford, Nacional and the El Presidente. Eddie was awarded a huge accolade by Bacardi in the early 1930s and was named ‘Eddie Million Drinks Woelke’ in recognition of him selling over a million Bacardi cocktails. He was awarded ‘La Corona’ – the crown. My drink is La Corona de Cuba – the Crown of Cuba – and this is my legacy….”

On February 9, they will face a panel of judges including past winner Ago Perrone and mixology legends Audrey Saunders, Dale DeGroff and Peter Dorelli. The three most promising bartenders from the national final will be given a budget and six months to market their Bacardi cocktail in a three-way race to become the UK’s entry to the global final in February 2013. The winning cocktail will then compete against rival Bacardi recipes from other competitions around the world for a chance to become part of the legacy of Bacardi original cocktails.

To read about last year’s final, including the three “most promising” bartenders’ recipes,
check out our earlier blog post.

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