The Bacardi Legacy Ocho.
Eight bartenders from restaurants and bars across the UAE turned up at Azure Beach in Dubai in a bid to reach the final of the Bacardi Legacy competition
As one of the most renowned cocktail competitions in the world, Bacardi Legacy is about a lot more than just creating a great tasting drink. The aim is to craft a drink that will stand the test of time and become a true legend — like a mojito or a daiquiri.
To do so the bartenders involved must not only make an amazing drink that impresses the judges but give it a backstory that can be past into folklore and give it a true and lasting legacy. That was the challenge for eight bartenders from across the UAE at Azure Beach in December. With limited time, each had to explain the history of their drink and present it to the watching audience and judges. The judges were Dino Constantinides of Lost + Found bar (25th best cocktail bar in the world), MMI Bar Academy head Brandon Grusd, and Caterer Middle East editor Simon Ritchie.
With presentation, flavour, and story among the qualities being judged for each contestant, ultimately a final four that will go through to the final and compete for a place at the grand final in Amsterdam were announced.
Matthew Wakeford of Makar made it through with his drink El Meu Avi: 40 ml Bacardi Carta Blanca, 5ml St Germain, 50ml lemon sherbet, fresh basil, three dashes celery bitters, and 35ml egg white substitute.
Ryan Fourie of Joe's Backyard progressed to the final four with his drink Figura de Ocho: 60ml Bacardi Ocho, 15ml banana infused Martini Rosso, 15ml PX sherry, 10ml Frangelico, two drops saline solution, two bs olive oil.
Enricae Simpson, bartender at Flamingo Room by Tasha's, impressed the judges with his Jamin Daiquiri. Made from Bacardi Carta Blanca 45ml, lime juice 10ml, Grappa 10ml, passion fruit skin jam 2bsp, and lemon zest spray and discard.
And last but not least was Marcel Huaman of Coya Abu Dhabi who progressed with his drink El Poetico. It is 45ml Bacardi Carta Blanca, 30ml grapefruit juice, 20ml pineapple shrub, one drop of absinthe, and chrysanthemum flower.
Now the hard work begins for the UAE Bacardi Legacy finals in February to see which contestant can market their drink well enough to become the sole representative at the global final in Amsterdam in May 2019, where 48 countries will be represented.