Thursday, January 31, 2013

BACARDI Hosts 4th Annual USBG Legacy Cocktail Showcase

If you're on Instagram and have media or bartender friends in Miami, I'm guessing you were feeling a little tipsy and relaxed last night. What do you get when you put together 16 of the top mixologists in South Florida on a rooftop in the hottest part of Miami, hand them Bacardi Rum and a selection of bitters, garnishes, and other delights, and challenge them to create an  incredible tasting cocktail? You get The United States Bartender's Guild (USBG) Fourth Annual USBG Legacy Cocktail Showcase Regional Competition. Sponsored by BACARDI rum, this year's event took place on Tuesday, January 29th at the rooftop of The Gale Hotel in Miami Beach. The competition showcases the talent of mixologists from four regions across the country and Miami was the last stop before the top eight regional winners move on to compete in the USBG National Legacy Cocktail Showcase, also to be held in Miami on February 25th. Contestants are competing for a chance to create the next historic cocktail, joining the ranks of the BACARDI Mojito and the L. At the National Showcase, three cocktails will be crowned the "New Rum Legacy Cocktails" and the winners will head off on a VIP trip to the BACARDI Catedral de Ron (Cathedral of Rum) in Puerto Rico to present their cocktails in the final national exposition. The global competition to select the final winner, which includes regions from the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Africa and Asia, will take place in April 2013 in Puerto Rico.

BACARDI Rum is in party mode, celebrating its 150th Anniversary as the world's favorite rum brand. Many of  the most famous cocktails enjoyed today are made with BACARDI rum: the Daiquiri, Cuba Libre, Pina Colada and of course, the renowned Mojito. BACARDI has won over 500 awards for quality and taste making it the most awarded spirit of all time. There were three featured cocktails being served at the regional competition last night. My personal favorite was the Legacy Daiquiri, a delicious concoction combining Bacardi Superior, Liquor 43, Agave,  pineapple, lemon, black walnut bitters and nutmeg.

The 16 contestants competing for this region were: Cesar Romero from Swine Southern Table & Bar   (Opening soon) with "Morena",  Elad Zvi from The Broken Shaker with "The Rum Diary", Erik Tirums from Loews with "Pele", Freddy Diaz from Alembiq Consulting with "Bacardi Murcielago", Gaston Gonzalez from Wynwood Cigar Factory with "Jake-Mate", Isaac Grillo from Haven with "Scent Sation", James Holiday from Estiatorio Milos with "Mama Superior", Josh Gates from Wine Dive with "Un Nuevo Comienzo" (A New Beginning), Mark Kinzer from Zuma with "Lady Luck", Nick Nistico-Dolce from The Gale Hotel with "Garden Gimlet", Phillip Khanderish from The Setai with "Flordela Pasion", Rob Ferrara from Swine Southern Table & Bar with "I Reminisce" (Opening soon), Rob Husted of Off The Hookah & Bar Wars with "Yellow Jacket", Rob Montero from Clarke's with "Caribbean Crusta", Tommy Merolla from Gotham with "Traditional", and Trevor Albert from Gramps with "Layover in Port Au Prince".

The mixologists were enthusiastic throughout the night and it was obvious creating cocktails is much more than just a recipe to them. "I got my inspiration for 'I Reminisce' from my childhood in Jersey Shores. I would hang out with my grandfather on the hot, summer days and I wanted something that would remind me of that time. So I created a twist on a root beer float. My grandparents recently lost their home to Hurricane Sandy and I wanted to somehow pay tribute to all the victims," said Rob Ferrara from Swine Southern Table & Bar (and formerly from The Dutch) as he pointed to the Hurricane Sandy  T-shirt he was wearing. "Unfortunately, as time passes by, people forget. The victims still remember."

The evening ended with the announcement of the winners. Representing this region in the National Competition are:

Trevor Albert from Gramps with "Layover in "Port Au Prince". The recipe combines BACARDI 8 Year and BACARDI Superior with fresh lime juice, homemade pineapple shrub, homemade orgeat, 1 barspoon of apricot  jam and soda water. He finished it with a pineapple wedge and two maraschino cherries skewered through the top and Mint Plume garnish.

Nick Nistico-Dolce from The Gale Hotel with "Garden Gimlet" The recipe combines BACARDI Superior with lemon, simple syrup, dried Caraway seed, red bell pepper puree, and fresh arugula. He garnished it with a touch of maldon sea salt on a bell pepper slice.

Congratulations and cheers!

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