On Feb. 1, three of Chicago's top mixologists will head down to Miami to compete in the Bacardi Legacy cocktail competition to try to earn a spot representing the U.S. in the global contest that will take place in Barcelona.
Lynn House (Blackbird), Brad Bolt (Bar DeVille) and Todd Appel (Piranha Bros.) will represent Chicago (and the Midwest region) in the competition. In an invite-only round in November, the trio also competed against bartenders from places like Sable, Nacional 27, Double A and Sunda, with cocktails they crafted using Bacardi's Superior rum.
Bolt, House and Appel will compete against finalists from New York, Texas and Miami. The top three of the 12 will get a trip to Puerto Rico to tour Bacardi's facilities and the winner will go on to compete in the global event in Barcelona.
House will re-create her Caribbean Fresco, a drink that pays homage to the daiquiri and the Bacardi cocktail and incorporates fresh lime, raspberry, tarragon, and grenadine. Bolt is making his Sgt. Pepper's Sour with fresh lemon juice, lemon curd, simple syrup, Creme Yvette, egg white and cracked pepper to garnish. And Appel will concoct the Dublin Pirate with lime juice, Irish oat horchata and arrack punch, a funky rum-flavored syrup from Indonesia.
All three have said they're proudly representing Chicago more than themselves. House said it would be an honor and dream come true to represent the U.S. in Barcelona, while Bolt said he's blessed to be in such good company. Appel summed it up best when he said, "I don't think about it as a U.S. vs. other country kind of thing. But I do think the U.S. has regained the deepest cocktail culture in the world after a very long hiatus."
Blackbird's Lynn House [Photo: Metromix]