Bacardi Legacy Competition 2016 - Seattle Battle

Bartending is more than a job, it is a career and passion for many. One way that bartenders flex their creative muscles is by participating in cocktail competitions. You might remember that I participated in Bombay Sapphire's Most Imaginative Bartender competition earlier in 2016 with my cocktail recipe Par La Racine

One of the legendary international competitions is Bacardi Legacy. I had the honor to participate and compete amongst some of the best and brightest in the Pacific Northwest. Other semifinal cities include: Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas, Kansas City, Chicago, Boston, New York, Washington DC, New Orleans, and Miami

How it works:

  • First, recipes are submitted online and finalists are invited to the nearest regional finals (for me, this was Seattle, Washington)
  • Regional Finalists present their recipes to 3 judges (judges were a rep from USBG, Bacardi, and a local influencer)
  • The presentation is timed (3 minutes setup, 7 minutes to present, and 6 minutes to clean up and judges can ask questions)
  • The competition was streamed live on Facebook with spotlights (not scary at all, hah)
  • Competitors had 7 minutes to make 4 cocktails
  • Cocktails were judged by several factors: Name, technical skills/flair, appearance, aroma/balance of flavor, ingenuity & innovation, inspiration & story behind the recipe, drinkability, and product knowledge
  • Semifinalists will go on to compete nationally, and 2 finalists will go on to compete in the global finals

In our competition, there was such a close score between the top 2 scoring bartenders, that there was a daiquiri-off round which was finally awarded to Cameron George of Barrio in Seattle, Washington. These events are fun, stressful, and entertaining all at the same time. My absolute favorite part is by pushing myself and learning from other influential bartenders in the industry.

Congrats to all the U.S. Finalists: 

Check out last year's winner: Gn Chan



La Mûre Sauvage - Ransom Old Tom Gin cocktail

In the Pacific Northwest, you never want summer to end. When there is a dry warm stretch in the forecast, the rivers and hiking trails are filled with people soaking in their Vitamin D. Everyone calls in sick if it's over 85 degrees. In the city the terraces, patios, and rooftops are packed with locals and tourists alike, sucking down tall refreshing fruity cocktails and craft beers. Today, the former struck my fancy, and I wanted to use the wild blackberries behind my house for something special. What says summer more than a giant hurricane glass full of gin and organic wild berries?

La Mûre Sauvage


2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
1 oz Lime Juice
handful of wild blackberries (frozen, if you must)
3/4 oz Mint Simple Syrup
Soda Water to top, Tonic if you like more sweetness


In a shaker tin, muddle blackberries, add Gin, Lime juice, mint simple syrup, shake with ice. Double Strain onto fresh ice in a hurricane glass. Top with soda water and garnish with blackberries and mint sprig. Savor. The end.


The Solera System- Recipe: The Spanish Attic

The Solera system (as it is called in Spain) is a finishing and blending technique to develop flavors of Sherry. By reserving a portion of a barrels older contents, you add the younger product in. This infuses the younger spirit or wine with a touch of the older more developed product, giving layer upon layer of development and character to the final product. 

Imagine a pyramid of barrels stacked, with those closer to the ground being the oldest. When the most mature batches are ready for bottling, a portion of the contents are left in the cask. Then, the barrels from above are used to top off the lower barrels, with a portion of contents left inside, and the process is repeated with each layer until the top barrel is filled with new batch. This is very labor intensive, no barrel is ever emptied completely, and very little product in the Solera system will be bottled for each cycle.

That means, each year the Solera is in cycle, the output has a higher concentration of older and older product. It could contain portions of 3 year old and 20 year old Sherry in the same vessel. I imagine this takes an extraordinary amount of organization and care. Enjoying these Lustau Solera Reserva products makes me respect the process even more.

Now that you know a little about the Solera system, you will have a deeper appreciation for the Lustau Brandy and Sherry products used for my recipe: The Spanish Attic

Full Recipe and Inspiration can be found on the Chilled Magazine Site