Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition UK Winners

UK Global final representative, and 2012 Three Most Promising announced at lavish UK final

UK Bacardi Ambassador, and impeccable host, Shervene Shahbazkhani.

Last Thursday, ten very nervous bartenders and a nervous hosting ambassador (unnecessarily nervous on Shervene’s part… She knocked it out of the park) converged on the Freemasons Hall in London for the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition (BLCC) UK final.

BarLifeUK didn’t envy them, because the stakes were pretty high.

Last year’s ‘three most promising’ (Zdenek Kastanek – Quo Vadis; Jody Montheith* – The Liquorists; Metinee Kongsrivilai – The Bon Vivant) were about to find out who would be representing the UK at next week’s BLCC Global Final in Puerto Rico.

Alongside this, the eight winners of last year’s UK regional heats had to present their Legacy cocktail to an imposing panel of judges, hoping to become one of this year’s three most promising, and the chance to go on to represent the UK at next year’s Global final.

Got that? Excellent… On to the results.

2012's Three Most Promising

The Freemasons Hall is an imposing place. The inside looks a little like a cathedral, and a lot like the place Tom and Nicole got freaky in Eyes Wide Shut.

The crowd was imposing too; the hall was packed, and if there is such a thing as a ‘bar industry celebrity’, then they were all there, and the atmosphere was charged.

First up came the eight regional finalists, and as you would expect, the standard of presentation was excellent. ‘Shaky’ Pete Jeary defied his nickname and was as solid as a rock. Jamie Jones was confident, assured and should have brought a box to stand on. Everyone was great, and despite the tension and sense of occasion, ‘calm and composed’ was the order of the day.

However, as Connor MacLeod was so fond of saying, ‘There can be only one’. Except in this case, there could be only three, proving once and for all that Highlander is a flawed, yet excellent film.

The judging panel completed their deliberations, and 2012’s three most promising were announced to be:

  • Gordon Purnell of Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
  • Dan Bovey of Sahara, Reading
  • Chris Moore of the Savoy, London

BarLifeUK would like to offer huge congratulations to Gordon, Dan and Chris; we will be watching your efforts to bring your Legacy cocktail to the masses with interest over the coming months.

And the UK BLCC Global Final hero is…

Zdenek Kastanek will be representing the UK at next week's Bacardi Legacy final in Puerto Rico.

Zdenek Kastanek of Quo Vadis. Anyone who pays even passing attention to Facebook will have seen Zdenek’s Legacy cocktail, La Hermosa, gaining fame and support from all corners of the global bar industry.

BarLifeUK saw La Hermosa served in New Orleans during Tales of the Cocktail, and have had reports of it finding a place on the menu at over 20 bars in 15 different countries.

While international distribution isn’t the be-all and end-all of the Legacy competition, it is certainly a large part, and is also an indication of the drink’s quality and Zdenek’s passion and motivation to win the competition for the UK. And so, congratulations go to Zdenek for winning the UK leg of the BLCC, and good luck in the final. We’ll be there to cheer you on and report on the action.

We must also say commiserations to Metinee Kongsrivilai, who clearly made life difficult for the judges. Her drink, The Matinee, is a cracker, and her video, Jack and the Booze Stock is one of the funniest we’ve seen in ages. If things had gone the other way, May would have done the UK proud at the final.

*Jody Montheith was unable to attend the UK final.

The Drinks

Zdenek’s cocktail – La Hermosa:

  • 60ml Bacardi Superior rum
  • 25ml Lemon juice
  • 20ml La Gitana manzanilla sherry
  • 15ml Triple sec
  • 15ml Orgeat
4 dashes Yellow Chartreuse

Put all ingredients into a highball, add crushed ice, then swizzle until diluted and chilled to perfection. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of mint.

Gordon’s cocktail – Silver Ghost:

  • 37.5ml Bacardi Superior
  • 25ml Lime juice
  • 25ml Apple juice
  • 12.5ml Velvet Falurnum
  • 12.5ml Rock candy syrup
  • 20ml Egg white
2 pods of cardamom
Garnish of lemon thyme sprigs

Shake all the ingredients hard with ice and strain into the glass.

Dan’s cocktail – El Momento Perfecto:

  • 45ml Bacardi Superior
  • 25ml Lillet Blanc
  • 20ml Byrrh
  • 10ml Campari
  • 4 Dashes of orange bitters
  • 1 spoon of Strong breakfast marmalade

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir to dissolve the marmalade. Add cubed ice and stir until chilled. Julep-strain into an Old Fashioned glass over cubed ice and garnish with a lemon twist.

Chris’ cocktail – Encantador

  • 40ml Bacardi Superior
  • 10ml Aperol
  • 10ml Eau de Framboise
  • 20ml Fresh lemon juice
  • 10ml Vanilla syrup
  • 5ml Miclo Framboise eau de vie

Shake hard with mostly cubed and a little crushed ice. Fine-strain into a chilled coupette. Garnish with a lime twist.