The 2010 Competition challenges the best contemporary bartenders in Ireland to create balanced and appealing drinks in a classic style that creates a second golden age of cocktails. Javier (29) was selected from nine other finalists and will represent Ireland at the European Final of the Legacy Competition in London next February.
‘The Galician’ refers to the name given to the people from Galicia, the region of Spain that Javier’s grandfather left to seek a better life in Cuba.
“It also became the name for how my grandfather and his countrymen liked to drink their Bacardi,” explained Javier, “mixed roughly with a little lime, sugar and spices. Of course my version is very different, just as the Mojitos that we drink today in London, Cape Town or New York are very different to those which Hemingway could have ordered.”
The candidates, who entered online, were initially judged by some of the world’s leading bartenders including Ian Burell, Peter Dorelli and David Cordoba. The top 10 in Ireland were then judged in their own bars and were given the task of making a classic Daiquiri to their own recipe for the judging panel while giving an explanation of their inspiration behind their creation.
The top three bartenders who produce the most promising cocktails at the London European final will be supported by Bacardi throughout 2011 with a heavyweight marketing campaign to drive awareness and support for the cocktails of the three winners. The overall winner will then be announced in time to compete at the Global Final that will celebrate Bacardi’s 150th anniversary in 2012.
The top 10 in Ireland were:
Bronagh Bennet, Apartment Bar, Belfast
Sam Metcalfe, Apartment Bar, Belfast
John O Reilly, Love & Death, Belfast
Ian MacCandles, The Northern Whig, Belfast
Csaba Henter, The Dylan Hotel, Dublin
Karim Mehdi, Saba, Dublin
Darren Geraghty, The Exchequer Bar, Dublin
Pat Thomas, Sam Sara, Dublin
Shane Nolan, Soho Bar, Cork.