This is an advertorial piece on behalf of Zdenek Kastanek and La Hermosa
With next year’s Bacardi Legacy competition entering its next round, one of this year’s ‘Three Most Promising’, Zdenek Kastanek, invited BarLifeUK to Quo Vadis to hear about his cocktail, La Hermosa and the journey he has been on.
Zdenek’s adventure began when he entered the competition last year and immediately set about creating a drink which not only fitted the criteria of the competition but also a drink he knew could be replicated in bars across the world.
He quickly realised that a drink in itself wouldn’t necessarily be enough to inspire bartenders to list it and more importantly for consumers to drink it.
As Bacardi has such a rich history behind the brand Zdenek wanted to give his drink some history and with this in mind he created a story which would engage the customers as well as explaining the ingredients and how they worked together.
The story of La Hermosa – translated meaning Beautiful or Lovely Girl – goes like this:
Behind seven hills and seven lakes, seven rivers and seven fields lived a little girl called Hermosa. Her mother was typically French. A bitter character, but once you got to know her, she was sweet as honey.
Her Father was an experienced Spanish sailor. Although charismatic, he was rough as the ocean, but generally a good man, as most sailors are. Little Hermosa was living a fun and simple life at Santiago de Cuba.
Everybody loved her. The men for her beauty and big heart, and the women for her evergreen smile and optimism. Everything was nice and sweet as only orange can be – until one day – when everything turned from sweet and lovely to dry, triple dry and almost as sour as lemons. When the day that Hermosa had to follow her parents and move to Puerto Rico came around, nobody knew what was going to happen…
But as things go, everything bad is good for something else. The journey had “blended” their family together and created something more beautiful.
Little Hermosa grew up and got married to a charming and exotic Jamaican man who smelled of almonds and oranges. And as we know, Hermosa had always connected oranges to the feelings of love and happy times…
If they are still alive, they are spreading this message of simple beauty and making a lot of little kids the same as Hermosa herself.
La Hermosa – simple, but beautiful, exciting, but easy re-creatable.
Mother – Yellow Chartreuse
Father – Manzanilla sherry
Bad times – lemon juice
Happy times – Orange triple sec
Husband – Orgeat syrup
60ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
15ml Orange Curacao Briottet
20ml Manzanilla Sherry
12.5ml Orgeat Syrup
25ml Fresh lemon juice – hand squeezed
4 Dashes Yellow Chartreuse
The creation of the drink and Zdenek’s advancement to the final three was, however, only the start of his and La Hermosa’s journey. For those of you unfamiliar with the Bacardi Legacy competition the final three are given a unique opportunity, all are given a nice budget and a year in which to promote their drink across the world.
After working in bars across the world Zdenek has many friends in bars across many countries and he used these contacts to help open some doors.
He was very careful not to exploit these relationships and wanted to allow the drink to do the talking. In this respect he contacted friends and asked them to try the drink, to make it in their bar and see what they thought. Only if they were fans of the drink did he ask them if they wanted to list it.
The drink was also created in such a way that bars could put their own mark on the cocktail with bars variously using homemade Oregat and Triple Sec’s as well as mixing up the type of sherry being used (and rebalancing the drink as a result).
With these approaches and the natural growth of the drink (bartenders have tried it in bars and asking Zdenek if the can list it the drink in their own) La Hermosa is now in over 14 bars in 13 different countries.
The bars are an impressive list in themselves from London’s Connaught and Artisian; Tales of the Cocktail winning Eau De Vie in Sydney, Australia; George V in Paris and Hemmingway in Prague alongside other bars in New Zealand, Shanghai, Bratislava, Italy, Hawaii, Germany, Hungary and Kuala Lumpa.
La Hermosa has also been seen at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans earlier in the year where a guerrilla style marketing campaign saw 120 miniatures given away at the Bartender Breakfast event after the main awards. The cocktail was also a hit at Taste of London where a mini Quo Vadis stand saw over 500 La Hermosa’s sold to the attendees.
Zdenek has also roped in Andre Pospichal, his fellow bartender at Quo Vadis, to help him with some guest bartending shifts across Europe. As a thank you to all of the bars that have stocked La Hermosa over the last year purpose designed swizzle sticks are currently being designed and made to be sent out.
Little La Hermosa has certainly been busy over the last few months and Zdenek is showing no signs of slowing up just yet, he also had some words of advice to all those that are involved in Legacy this year or are planning to get involved in the future:
‘Create a drink you believe in and enjoy the opportunity Bacardi give you to promote it across the world’
For more information on La Hermosa and to show your support visit the Facebook page.
*This is an advertorial piece on behalf of Zdenek Kastanek and La Hermosa