The Bacardi Legacy Competition is one of the most sought after cocktailians prize, and here is my entry for this years comp. I have previously made it through to the national finals, but I wasn’t ready, by my own admission – fingers crossed this time round.
“I wonder about the bat – I think it’s living in exile just as we are and circling the island and waiting for the right time, and one day when the bat will go home, we will go home too.”
VICTOR R ARELLANO DE SCHUEG – 5TH GENERATION BACARDÍ FAMILY MEMBER
I developed this Bacardi drink about 5 months ago. It is unusual for me as I own and run a Whiskey bar and for me it was a bit of a stranger to the list, especially with having no Whiskey influence; however, I couldn’t shake it (literally no pun intended) from my mind as it carried all the characteristic of a truly timeless drink. I came back to it time and time again, and it came about just as Bacardi Legacy was being announced – although I had promised myself that I would refuse to enter without meaning or purpose behind my entry. I delved into the history of Bacardi looking for anything I had missed before, until the statement above smacked me in the face. Honestly, I haven’t felt so drawn to a moment like that for a long time; one very specific word stood out to me – Exile. Exile resonates with me on several levels within the industry we work in, and certainly in the UK (outside of the Big Smoke) bartending is often looked down up on. I am sure many of us have all heard the term “That’s nice, so when will you be getting a real job” before, and in the Midlands the remark “That’s nice, when are you moving to London then?” is often added. I believe Nottingham is a great city in which to become a career bartender and have seen many great craftsman born of this city, which in turn fills me with pride when I see them do well.
This style of drink goes against the grain of a classic highball by being served short over ice; with the effervescence also coming from an off the shelf “shrub”, it may be considered sacrilege in some circles but it creates an easily replicable drink which delivers a unique flavour and balance. Undeniably an aperitif, but one that can be enjoyed any time of day and is painfully moreish. Unusually, there are 4 citric elements incorporated into the drink, Yuzu, Pink Grapefruit, Orange and Lemon, with 2 styles of acidity, helping to deliver an incredibly complex drink in a very simple fashion.
This could not be any more relevant to the Bacardi Legacy – starting out on the back foot with looking for independence from Spain with Emilio Bacardi Moreau putting his life and livelihood to aid the Cuban fight for independence – after being arrested, exiled and twice imprisoned for his beliefs to support the Spanish rule – lo and behold his patriotism earned him the first freely-elected Mayor of Santiago de Cuba. Then, as we fast track to more recent times, in 1960 when Bacardi was again exiled during the Cuban Revolution, continuing to fight for the right even introducing a new Act – The Bacardi Act (inventive). Excitingly now, with US & Cuban relations taking a positive turn, it won’t be long before we see Bacardi back on home turf.
The essence of what I am getting at is you should choose a road that you believe in and what makes you happy, even if you do get exiled – as what will be will be. You should stick to your beliefs and run any hard road to the light at the end of the tunnel. Look no further than Bacardi and your fellow bartender for shining examples of that. This coupled with Facundo Bacardi Masso isolating the propriety strain of yeast that is still used in Bacardi production, you could say the original Yeastie Boys truly fought for their right to party
50ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
10ml Yuzu Citrus Mix (Please see attached photo and link below – Available worldwide)
10ml Pink Grapefruit Oleo Saccharum (Please see method below)
5ml Lemon Juice
40ml Fever Tree Soda Water
Ice: Large cube or sphere
Glass: Delicate/Fine Tumbler (see picture attached)
Garnish: Grapefruit Zest
Add all ingredients to shaker apart from sparkling water, shake over cubed ice. Double strain over a chilled tumbler with a singular large ice cube or sphere.
Insert spoon, then gently pour in 40ml of soda. Stir slowly 3 times (one stir for every half century Bacardi has been founded, maybe one day this will be four stirs).
Gently remove spoon, zest grapefruit on top and balance zest on ice and rim of glass.
Grapefruit Oleo Saccharum Recipe
In a non-reactive plastic container, add 255 grams of unwaxed pink grapefruit peel, less the pith, mix in with 1020 grams of caster sugar. Leave in the fridge for 3 days giving a gentle shake each day.
Remove from fridge, add 250ml of hot water (not boiling), stir. Fine strain into a non-reactive container and store in the fridge for 2 weeks.
Yuzu Citrus Mix/”Shrub” Link