The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2015

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Page 125 of 136

july 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  125 I n the world of rum, there are iconic drinks that never seem to lose their luster: the Daiquiri, the Mojito, the Mai Tai—all are drinks that have survived fame, deterioration of cocktail culture and the cocktail renaissance. Representing their countries, 34 bar- tenders gathered in Sydney, Australia at the end of April for a chance to win the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition. The contenders were challenged with creating the next cocktail recipe to stand the test of time. The competition saw hundreds of bartenders competing—first at the local and regional levels, before the national level—to create an iconic cocktail with Bacardi Rum. Bartenders were tasked with creating an original recipe as well as crafting a narrative around the cocktail; each had to explain why the cocktail was special beyond just the mixture of ingredients. For some, this "legacy" was the advice given to them by a parent, and for others, it was inspiration drawn directly from the story of the Bacardi family or their own personal journey. The Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition has been seeking new classic cocktails since 2009, when people like Enrique Comas, a sixth- generation descendant of Don Facundo Bacardi Masso (the founder of Bacardi Rum), implemented their vision of a new competition to inspire a genera- tion of bartenders. As Comas describes it, "At its heart, the Legacy competition is about empowering the bartender to establish a drink to go everywhere for all time." As the competitors moved through each level of the competition, from local to national to international, they were encouraged to promote their cocktail. They did this with the help of their national Bacardi representatives by working shifts at bars around their respective countries, encouraging other bars to carry their creations on their menus and talking to a lot of press. Comas says this is in part to promote the brand, but also to help promote the bartenders themselves. "Our message to bartenders is, 'Our legacy is Bacardi. Your legacy will be this drink.' This com- petition, this effort, is to boost them to the level of other legendary bartenders." Drinks under consideration ran the gamut from elegantly simple to esoteric. Emil Areng, bartender at Open/Closed in Sweden, created a cocktail using Bacardi Carta Oro, maple, lime and a house-made corn foam. Meanwhile, others, like Federico Tomasselli from Barnum, Italy, eschewed bespoke ingredients, favoring instead white rum, lime juice, absinthe, Frangelico and sugar. After countless practices and refinements to their presentations, each bartender took their turn, and the judges reduced the group to eight final- ists (a reference to Bacardi's 8, or ocho rum). While the rest of the bartenders grappled with not moving on, the eight finalists had to present one last time. Finally, the judges picked their Legacy drink winner in Frank Dedieu of Redwood bar in Lyon, France. Dedieu's drink, Le Latin, sat on the sim- pler end of the spectrum. You'll find no house-made syrups or bitters, nor any hard-to-find fruits or herbs included in his recipe, only white rum, white wine, lemon juice, olive brine and sugar. Dedieu linked his family's vineyards in the region where Don Facundo Bacardi once sold wine before depart- ing for the New World with the most iconic rum drink ever. Thirty four contestants from around the globe traveled to Sydney for the 2015 Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition. PHOTO COURTESY OF BACARDI LIMITED Le Latin ◗ 45 ml. Bacardi Carta Blanca ◗ 20 ml. white wine (Voignier preferred) ◗ 20 ml. lemon juice ◗ 6 ml. olive brine ◗ 2 barspoons cane sugar Shake with ice and strain into a coupette. Garnish with an olive. "I have customized the DNA of the most famous rum cocktail . . . rum, lime and sugar. Sugarcane and rum are the Cuban touch of my cocktail; lemon is the specific citrus and wine represents the French vineyard. A green olive and its brine balances the cocktail with its salty touch."—Frank Dedieu

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