“Being new to the industry, I think I’m still finding my style,” says Madeline Martin from Flipside Cocktail Club in Bristol. “Working in a party bar, it’s pretty full-on and all free-pouring but I’m a perfectionist behind the bar, everything must be done consistently and perfectly and the bar must always be as clean and tidy as possible.” And who can argue with that?
Madeline has been bartending for 11 months and goes through the BACARDÍ Legacy UK semi-finals representing the South West with her cocktail Rooted in Santiago.
So tell us Madi, when and why did you decide to enter BACARDÍ Legacy this year?
Researching past winners and their drinks inspired me to enter BACARDÍ Legacy this year. The regional heat was held in Flipside Cocktail Club where I work so I thought I should go for it (with some persuasion from my boss too!)
What is it about this particular competition that resonates with you?
For me, BACARDÍ Legacy is one of the ultimate cocktail competitions. The opportunities that come as a result of entering are fantastic for your career as a bartender. It’s such a well put together competition and you always have support readily available to you if need be. The competition also gives you a chance to learn more about yourself and consolidate your skills as a bartender.
Have you followed the journeys of previous finalists (UK and/or global), and if so, who has stood out most for you and why?
I follow Ally Martin on Instagram and stalked all of his adventures during his BACARDÍ Legacy travels. His attention to detail and hard work stood out for me a lot. He inspired me during my time preparing for the national final.
Why is BACARDÍ Legacy such an important competition for you personally?
It’s more than just presenting the cocktail you have created, it’s the whole other side of bartending: the marketing, the social media, putting yourself out there and creating your own brand.
Please describe your cocktail and the inspiration behind it.
The coconut palm named El Coco that was given to the BACARDÍ family and planted outside the first distillery inspired my cocktail. A few years ago I had some troubles with my health and with El Coco’s story of perseverance I chose to use coconut water in my drink. For me, this not only symbolises the connection to El Coco and BACARDÍ but health and strength in relation to my personal story.
It’s a stirred drink served straight up and it’s very clean and refreshing. With its citrus notes and minimal sugar content, it’s a drink that I could drink all day and night (preferably sitting on a deck chair on a tropical island!)
You’re permitted to use six ingredients in your cocktail, what’s the one component (apart from BACARDÍ of course) that brings the x-factor to your drink?
My x-Factor ingredient is coconut water. I think that with its quirky taste, it can be very difficult to balance in cocktails. Coconut water is very on trend at the moment and a growing number of consumers are wanting less sugar and calories in their drinks, so in that respect, I think my cocktail will appeal to a wide audience. I also believe that using coconut water makes my cocktail stand out from the crowd.
You can choose from BACARDÍ Carta Blanca or Carta Ora as the base of your cocktail, which did you go for and why?
I chose to use BACARDÍ Carta Blanca as the base of my cocktail because it has a cleaner finish. I originally tried using the Oro, but the result was much better when I tried it with the Carta Blanca.
Why do you believe your drink has the potential to be the next BACARDÍ Legacy cocktail?
I believe that my drink is unique and will stand the test of time to become the next BACARDÍ Legacy cocktail. I’ve had good feedback from customers (as it’s on our new menu at work) and I think it appeals to the current consumer. Not only that, I think that it could potentially change the way people think about coconut water, especially those who don’t enjoy the taste.
Who would you most like to see drinking it?
I would love to see celebrities like Kate Hudson and Beyonce drinking my cocktail. Both of them are very mindful of what they eat and drink. Also Michelle Obama has a serious passion for staying healthy – it would be so cool to see her drinking my cocktail.
What’s the best piece of advice you received during the competition?
To be make it personal. It makes talking about your drink so much easier when it means something to you. Not only that but you are creating your own brand and legacy which is another reason to make it about you and put your individual stamp on it.
What would winning BACARDÍ Legacy mean to you?
After only being in the industry for 11 months, winning BACARDÍ Legacy would consolidate all my hard work and dedication that I’ve not only put into the competition, but beginning my career as a bartender. I don’t think I would be able to wrap my head around the fact – it would be so, so surreal.
Rooted in Santiago
40ml BACARDÍ Carta Oro
25ml coconut water
10ml fino sherry
10ml lemon juice
5ml crème de peche
Stir all ingredients with ice. Served straight up and garnished with a lemon zest.
The BACARDÍ Legacy UK Final takes place on 10th November. Keep up to date at #BacardiLegacyUK