Bacardi, our local international rum company, is almost the big 1-5-oh. In anticipation of this significant birthday, we headed over to the Well Lounge last night to watch some future Bacardi classic cocktails in the making.
The United States Bartenders Guild has joined forces with the rum makers to put on the Legacy of the Cocktails Showcase featuring some of South Florida's best mixologists and cocktail concoctors.
Bartenders from all the way north as Tampa stirred up some fantastically unusual ingredients to get judges drooling and voting for them. Winners go to the national tournament which is taking place right here in Miami. Guess this means we need to start thinking of this as a cocktail type of town.
The whole shebang took place at the Well Lounge next door to the Forge. The space is absolutely beautiful, with wooden interiors and a fantastic stained glass ceiling. The lounge would be too grand except that it's also homey. Elk horn chandeliers and a river stone fireplace make it seem a little rustic, but still classy.
Bartenders pulled out all the stops. Flipping shakers, straining fruit and other food stuffs. Of the 13 competitors, three will win the judges favor.
Brand Master Juan Coronado was on hand to explain a little about the competition and to take on the difficult grueling task of judging these beautiful, fragrant drinks.
This is the third competition by Bacardi globally and the second in the U.S. "The mission of this competition is to find a cocktail that could be compared in theory and elegance and balance to those cocktails that formed the legacy of Bacardi," he said. They were serving a few of those signature 1930s cocktails at the Well for guests to suck down as they watched the mixologists mix away.
Cesar Romero from the Hookah used marmalade and edible flowers to spice up his drink.
"Miami's definitely one of the strongest places for mixology," Coronado assures, last year, the winner who represented the U.S. in the worldwide competition was a local. "Miami has a lot of talent," he says, naming the Florida Room as one of his favorite places to grab a fancy bev.
This guy from West Palm Beach was a true performer, flipping around bottles and telling crazy stories. Apparently, his signature cocktail was inspired by his first lovemaking experience with his girlfriend. It's called Bacardi Sweet Configuration. It's been one year since they first boned. He incorporated elements from their first romantic night together in the drink. That special eve, they ate cheese and fig spread and stuff, and so fig spread was featured in the beverage. Fancy.
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