The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2016

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Page 62 of 132

62  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2016 COMPETITION But the bartenders—gratefully, not once officially referred to as mixolo- gists—had to fight for the right to get this fabulous treatment. Like, really, really fight. As in, win competitions in their home countries that included thousands of other contestants. And once they won at the national level, their work was only beginning. They were taken around the world to pull guest shifts at some of the best and most famous bars on the planet. They were required to launch social media cam- paigns that included producing videos, tending Facebook and Twitter feeds and making friends and influencing people in the most modern of ways. Fortunately, they didn't have to do it all on their own. BACARDÍ provided media training and they had their brothers- and sisters-in-arms to offer support and encouragement. Oh, and to win, they had to create a classic cocktail, one that would take its place alongside the Cuba Libre, the Daiquiri and the Mojito. It had to be timeless, it had to be relatively easy for a barkeep to make, it had to be beautiful and it had to be delicious. And if each competitor could seamlessly tie his or her own story to the BACARDÍ history of overcoming obstacles, that'd be an advantage too. So they came to San Francisco to make history, and for the chance to introduce the world to an iconic drink. Let's Get Ready to RUMble It was the first day of competition, and Canada's Giancarlo Quiroz Jesus was having a rough time. You couldn't tell right away, because he was smooth and relaxed as he introduced himself and began to speak of the BACARDÍ legacy. But there was no doubt that the big stage had gotten to his nerves. As he began to pour his ingredients, first some coconut crème, then some lime juice, his hands were shaking so violently, you worried that he was going to miss the shaker. But he pressed on. The nerves were understandable, really. All of the competitors had to meet the same unyielding schedule: They had two minutes to set up their ingredients, and while they did that, a video that they had produced played on two giant televi- Cocktailians Dale DeGroff and Julie Reiner were celebrity judges at the event. THE WINNING DRINK: VENCEREMOS ◗ 1½ oz. BACARDÍ Superior ◗ ½ oz. coconut liqueur ◗ 5 /6 oz. pineapple juice ◗ ½ oz. cucumber Juice ◗ 1 /6 oz. lime juice ◗ 1 dash sesame oil Shake and strain and use a Hurricane or rocks glass. PHOTO COURTESY OF BACARDÍ

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