Santiago Michelis – Interview with Bacardi Legacy 3MP

Next week the UK Bacardi Legacy winner will be announced. We have sat down with each of the 3 Most Promising to find out what they got up to, first Happiness Forgets’ Santiago Michelis.

Over the last few months each of the 3 Most Promising have been working their butts off promoting their drinks, for Santiago Michelis that meant saying The Knot approximately 2,437 times.Santiago

Their work is done, the marketing reports have been handed in and they have spent this week having a well deserved break together in Miami & Puerto Rico with the UK Bacardi Brand Ambassador Metinee ‘May’ Kongsiribavvalsisydns. Before they jetted off we had a chat with each of them about their adventures, Iain & Oli will follow but first we have Santiago.

BarLifeUK: So Santiago, you work at London’s stalwart Happiness Forgets, how did you end up there?

Santiago Michelis: I actually studied economics in Argentina and ended up working for Samsung. It was all a bit stressful for me so when a mate decided to open a bar in Uruguay I went over to help him with the spreadsheets and get back to working behind the bar which I’d dabbled with whist at university.

This got me back in love with bartending so I decided to do some travelling, first ending up in Dublin. Here I worked with Karim Mehdi who won the Irish Legacy competition, and whilst Legacy is huge in Argentina it was working with Karim that convinced me I had to enter. That opportunity arose after I had moved to London and started working at Happiness Forgets.

BLUK: Take us back to the Bacardi Legacy Final when the top 8 competed to become the 3 Most Promising. How did you feel it went when you walked off the stage?

SM: I was actually very happy with my presentation. It strangely seemed less intense than the semi-finals as the support from the crowd and other competitors was very real. Added to that the fact that my Dad had flown over to watch was very special. It was a great night and a great atmosphere, but I was amazed when my name was called out.

BLUK: So your campaign has just finished, what did you get up to promoting The Knot?

SM: I had a fight with myself between what I should do and what I wanted to do. Partly due to my lack of UK bar contacts I decided to go with a non-industry focus for the campaign. The-Knot

The part I was most proud of was working with TFL (Transport for London) on commuter boats. I set up a bar and served free versions of The Knot to commuters, guys with bikes, people in suits, it was great fun and was so popular I ran out of samples on the first day.

I also did a pop-up in Madrid in a bar called Quilombo which was smashed with people, went over to Dublin to bartend with Karim and hold a training session. I also went to Budapest, Barcelona and Napoli.

Working with Bompas & Parr, was another highlight, I did two events with them in offices to consumers. Of course I have received massive support in Argentina, even my mum loved The Knot and has been drinking it with her friends.

I have made videos of my adventures which you can see on my The Knot Facebook page here

BLUK: What if Bacardi had given you an unlimited budget? What would you have done?

SM: Filled an Olympic swimming pool with The Knot, given everyone branded swimming suits and let them swim and drink to their hearts content.

BLUK: And with the same theory which bar would you have served The Knot in with that unlimited budget?

SM: Easy….. Happiness Forgets

BLUK: The winners announcement is close now, what will you do if your name is read out?

SM: Get naked and dance on the tables…… don’t tell May & Shev (sorry mate – ed)

What we think?

Santiago definitely went into this stage of the competition as the least known competitor to the UK bar scene. That has certainly changed in the last few months, his infectious personality and natural honesty have charmed bartenders across the country and Europe.

His decision to go down the consumer route seems like a smart move as well, and anyone that can get TFL to do…. well, anything is a hero in our book. With the Happiness team behind him and a friend of the calibre of Karim to call on, there is little Santiago would be unable to achieve. He is probably the dark horse of the 3 Most Promising in a lot people’s book but with the effort and originality he has put into this campaign, rule him out at your absolute peril.

The Knot by Santiago Michelis, Happiness Forgets, London

The Knot is not a drink, it is a tribute to determination, families sticking together, and everyone who left everything for a dream.

The Knot mixes ingredients brought to Latin America by european migrants. Facundo Bacardi’s story, is an epic flagship of what these generations did for my continent, marking it forever.

The Knot is not my legacy cocktail, it is the legacy cocktail of every heart and soul who left everything behind for a dream.

  • 45ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
  • 25ml fresh mandarin juice
  • 5ml fresh lemon juice
  • 15ml honey syrup
  • 12.5ml Martini Bitter Aperitivo
  • 2 dash Angostura Bitters

Shaken & served straight up, garnish with a floating mandarin wheel.