The Bacardi Legacy competition is back in town for it’s 7th consecutive year in 2015. Over the last few months, bartenders across Singapore have been busy creating their masterpieces. The aim of the game? Create a Bacardi based legacy cocktail, a new classic, that can be easily replicated in bars the world over. That means no fancy ingredients or equipment that a normal bar wouldn’t have.
From the initial 61 entrants, only 16 of the finest cocktails remain and are soon to be whittled down to a final 5. From that select group the winning entrant will be crowned by a panel of experts and sent to fly the flag for Singapore at the global final being held in San Francisco in April 2016.
We were lucky enough to sample some of the top 16, and one thing is for sure, this group are a hugely talented bunch with seemingly limitless imagination. This is going to be one tough competition…
After 2 nights of intensive drinking, here’s an overview of some of our top 6 favourites from Singapore’s Bacardi Legacy cocktail competition 2015 which will give you a peek into how this competition is heating up.
Creator: Kino Soh. Cocktail: Lucky 6 (Bacardi Carta Blanca, burnt pineapple juice, fresh lime, hibiscus syrup)
Presented in a martini glass and garnished with dehydrated pineapple and a hibiscus flower, this pretty pink creation should not be underestimated. The burnt pineapple juice is a stroke of genius.
By toasting fresh pineapple in a sandwich press – yes, really – until it just starts to caramelise, produces a less acidic and slightly sweeter juice. The resulting drink was refreshing with just the right amount of sweetness. A delicious combination and impossible to order only one.
Creator: Stuart Danker. Cocktail: Legado Rosa (Bacardi Carta Blanca, fresh passionfruit, fresh lime, egg white, mezcal spritz)
The Legado Rosa has taken barman Danker several attempts to get to the current version. It’s been time well spent as this is a smart drink, it’s rare to find something that so perfectly strikes the balance between sweet and sour, whilst the egg white provides a smooth finish and a thicker body.
A tribute to his grandmother (Rosa) who never gave up on her beloved passion fruit trees despite the fact they rarely produced fruit, this drink is the culmination of an epic journey. Whilst Rosa has sadly passed, her legacy lives on in this fresh, fruity creation.
Jigger & Pony
Creator: Sim Kim Shin. Cocktail: Butterfly Effect (Bacardi Carta Blanca, Absinthe, lavender, dry vermouth, sugar syrup, fresh lemon).
Inspired by the seemingly small decisions in his life that has a far reaching impact in the future, bartender Sim Kim Shin has created a classy cocktail that will tantalise the tastebuds.
Absinthe provides a subtle note of anise, whilst the lemon and lavender add a fragrant touch. One of the few entrants to steer away from the usual combination of rum and lime, this is a sophisticated twist for for those who prefer their cocktails strong and dry.
Creator: Jay Gray. Cocktail: Virtuous Cocktail (Bacardi Carta Blanca, coconut water, red wine, fresh lime, sugar syrup)
Drawing from the experience of the Bacardi family themselves and in particular their virtuous nature, Gray has created a drink that evokes the spirit of both Cuba and Spain.
With ingredients carefully selected to continue the theme of virtuosity and served in a simple glass with only a lemon zest atomisation to finish, this is not only easy to make but dangerously easy to drink. It has a refreshingly clean finish whilst the coconut water adds a unique sweet silky texture. I like.
Bread Street Kitchen
Creator: Adonis Reyes. Cocktail: Tanggero (Bacardi Carta Blanca, fresh chilli, lemongrass syrup, lime juice, mango liqueur, egg white. Lemongrass and salt to garnish)
Bartender Reyes has come up trumps by looking to his Phillippino heritage for inspiration. Growing up he and his friends would steal mango’s from trees and mix the fresh fruit with any liquor they could find, passing the alcoholic cup round the group until it had been demolished.
They called this ‘game’ Tanggero. In it’s more sophisticated cocktail form, Tanggero is a smooth, fruity revelation. The chilli kick experienced at the end of the drink is a welcome surprise, whilst the sweetness of mango is balanced with savoury salt. This is a delicious drink brimming with personality.
Creator: Bannie Kang. Cocktail: Hwa Chae (Bacardi Carta Blanca, lemon, maple syrup, pineapple juice, watermelon, beer)
Adding beer to a cocktail might seem like a strange addition, but this unusual twist makes for a particularly refreshing drink.
Upon first sip, the Hwa Chae is dry with a clean finish, what is quite remarkable however is the aftertaste of watermelon. It arrives surprisingly adding another dimension to the flavour profile. Presented in a dainty glass, pink in colour and garnished only with a twist of lemon peel, this is a classy cocktail that is a real contender.
Other competitors include:
L’Aiglon. Creator: Louis Tan. Cocktail: Mission Plausible (*Worthy mention)
The Library. Creator: Joel Poon. Cocktail: The Revelation
28 Hong Kong Street. Creator: Brendon Khoo. Cocktail: Blank Page
Orgo. Creator: Satoshi Iwai. Cocktail: La Felicidad
The Black Swan. Creator: Gerardo Callipo. Cocktail: Mas Amor
Club 39. Creator: Mark Graham Thomas. Cocktail: A Knight to Remember
28 Hong Kong Street. Creator: Ashwin Raj. Cocktail: Alma Cubana
Tanjong Beach Club. Creator: Ouynh Van Nguyen. Cocktail: The Nomadic Cocktail
Bacchanalia. Creator: Matthew Chan. Cocktail: Daiquiri No. 6
It’s going to be tough call and we’re glad it’s not down to us to make the impossible decision of choosing only one winner. We cannot wait to see which way the judges swing and wish the best of luck to all competing.