Yesterday, bartenders from all over the world converged on Berlin, Germany for the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition, a head-to-head battle to see who can create the next classic cocktail. This is the ninth year of the competition, which is held in front of a live audience with a live band.
In the US, competitors were whittled down through a series of semi-final competitions until only two were standing, Darnell Holguin of New York and Ryan Wainwright of Los Angeles. Holguin and Wainwright both took their signature cocktails to Germany, but ultimately, fell short of the top prize. Ran Van Ongevalle, a bartender from Belgium beat 37 other bartenders from all over the world with a cocktail called “Clarita” that uses Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Anos Rum as its base.
Even so, the cocktails that Wainwright and Holguin created were stellar. Bacardi sent us all the necessary ingredients to make each at home, and I have to say, these bartenders are way more inventive and sure-handed than me. The only signature cocktail I ever created actually tasted like fur. I called it “The Wookie.” These are better. And if you haven’t had the chance to try Bacardi’s Gran Reserva, do yourself a favor and seek it out. It’s an easy drinking, 80-proof rum that shows off its age in strong notes of caramel and molasses. It’s delicious over ice and adds depth to your go-to rum cocktail.
And if you’re looking for something new to make at home, we recommend the two finalists’ cocktails. Here’s how to make them.
Recipe by Ryan Wainwright
1.5 parts Bacardi Superior (white rum)
.75 parts lime juice
.75 Coconut Cordial (equal parts coconut water and sugar)
.25 parts Falernum
4 drops Tartaric Acid (1 part cream of tartar and 5 parts water)
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake like hell. Strain into a Nik & Nora glass. Garnish with an edible flower.
Recipe by Darnell Holguin
1.5 parts Bacardi Ocho Anos
2 parts orange juice
1.5 parts Passion Fruit condensed milk (355ml passionfruit puree, 355ml of sugar and 240ml evaporated milk)
1.3 parts Averna
.25 parts Allspice Dram
Mint sprig and orange wheel for garnish
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a tin cup with crushed ice. Garnish with an orange wheel and a fresh mint sprig.