BACARDI Legacy Competition Showcases Contemporary Calgary Cocktail Talent

2 years ago by in Calgary Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Move over crappy cocktails! When big spirit names like BACARDI come to town, it’s a sure sign Calgary’s food and drink scene is growing up. In fact, according to Avenue Calgary, the city saw 27 new locations open in 2014.

The BACARDI Legacy competition invites talented contemporary bartenders from around the world to participate in it’s search for BACARDI’s next legacy cocktail. This is the fifth year for the competition, but the first year that BACARDI has included Calgary in its heats, which took place December 3, 2014 at The Living Room on 17th Avenue.

Competitors were judged on the following: cocktail name; technical skills and presentation flair; appearance; aroma; balance flavours and character appeal; ingenuity and innovation; inspiration and story behind the recipe; refreshment; and product knowledge.

The Calgary Contenders

5th Annual BACARDI Legacy Cocktail Competition

5th Annual BACARDI Legacy Cocktail Competition

Nunca Te Rindas By Ray Burton, Redwater Grille BACARDI Superior Rum, raspberry puree, basil simple syrup, pineapple juice, lime juice, orange zest, raspberry basil skewer

Nunca Te Rindas
By Ray Burton, Redwater Grille
BACARDI Superior Rum, raspberry purée, basil simple syrup, pineapple juice, lime juice, orange zest, raspberry basil skewer

After Five By Tony Migliarese, Cilantro BACARDI Gold Rum, green chartreuse, lime juice, simple syrup, egg white, chocolate bitters, fresh mint

After Five
By Tony Migliarese, Cilantro
BACARDI Gold Rum, Green Chartreuse, lime juice, simple syrup, egg white, chocolate bitters, fresh mint

Close Talker By Darren Fabian, Candela BACARDI Gold Rum, pomegranate juice, honey syrup, black walnut bitters, muddled orange, cinnamon lime wheel, orange zest

Close Talker
By Darren Fabian, Candela
BACARDI Gold Rum, pomegranate juice, honey syrup, black walnut bitters, muddled orange, cinnamon lime wheel, orange zest

The Spanish Legacy By Nathan Head, Milk Tiger BACARDI Superior Rum, sherry, roasted pineapple juice, agave syrup, cilantro sprit, lime bitters, pineapple leaf

The Spanish Legacy
By Nathan Head, Milk Tiger
BACARDI Superior Rum, sherry, roasted pineapple juice, agave syrup, cilantro sprit, lime bitters, pineapple leaf

Bacardi-Legacy-Calgary-389

Even Tempered
By Christopher Cho, Ayden Kitchen & Bar (Saskatoon)
BACARDI Superior Rum, Aperol, Calvados Boulard, lemon juice, grapefruit syrup, grapefruit bitters, grapefruit peel & skewer

Disapora By Neila Macintyre, Ox & Angela BACARDI Superior Rum, cava, sherry, lemon juice, simple syrup, pear puree, edible yellow flower

Disapora
By Neila Macintyre, Ox & Angela
BACARDI Superior Rum, cava, sherry, lemon juice, simple syrup, pear purée, edible yellow flower

Cuban Cola By James Nguyen, Teatro BACARDI Gold Rum, Kahlua, dark cacao, cuban espresso, can sugar syrup, coffee beans

Cuban Cola
By James Nguyen, Teatro
BACARDI Gold Rum, Kahlua, dark cacao, cuban espresso, can sugar syrup, coffee beans

The Darkest Martini By Rod Redford, Milk Tiger BACARDI Gold Rum, citric acid, ginger bitters, tamarind lime bitters, toasted oak bitters, lemon peel

The Darkest Martini
By Rod Redford, Milk Tiger
BACARDI Gold Rum, citric acid, ginger bitters, tamarind lime bitters, toasted oak bitters, lemon peel

The Winner:

While judges commended the skill and ability of all competing bartenders and their cocktails, the winner of the Calgary heat was James Nguyen from Teatro with his Cuban Cola.

Winner of the Calgary heat, James Nguyen for his Cuban Cola libation.

Winner of the Calgary heat, James Nguyen for his Cuban Cola libation.

James’ creation incorporated two lesser known flavours in Cuban history, cacao and espresso.

The beginnings of cacao production in Cuba are difficult to pinpoint, but many sources say it first appeared in the 17th century. Cadbury makes mention of cacao plantations in Cuba starting up upon the conquest of Cuba and Haiti by France in 1684. The Havana Times boasts Baracoa, an area in the extreme east of Cuba, as a mecca of cacao in Cuba, contributing around 70 percent of the nation’s total cacao production as of April, 2011.

Café Cubano, a type of espresso shot where the espresso is sweetened with demerera sugar as it is brewed, remains a popular activity in Cuba (and Cuban communities in the United States) after espresso machines were first imported into the country from Italy.

Calgary winners advance to the National Finalist Showcase in March for the opportunity to compete in the Global Legacy Competition in Sydney, Australia.

For more details on the BACARDI Legacy Competition or to see last year’s winning cocktail, visit www.BACARDIlegacy.com.