December 11, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

And the winner is...

BACARDI SUPERIOR, guava juice, lime juice, sugar syrup, fresh mint, and carrot juice were the winning ingredients for Rain or Shine, the cocktail that will send Raffles Long Bar bartender Orman Bag-ao to Berlin in May for the world championship of the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition.

The Philippine leg of the competition was held last month in 12 Monkeys Bar in Makati City.

More than 30 countries and territories will be participating in the competition, from Argentina to Poland, plus entrants from cruise ships, and both coasts of the United States.

Mr. Bag-ao faced off against Aliuss Abrazado from Buddha Bar, with a cocktail called Rosa de Ron (with rose syrup as an ingredient), Kenneth Bandivas from Prisma Boracay (a new venture of Pylon Partners, Inc., of speakyeasy ABV fame), Larry Guevara of Alley, who achieved some fame via Pilipinas Got Talent, with his cocktail La Mision (with black peppercorn syrup), and Ralph Allen Santos of Bitters Bar in BGC, with a drink called Nos Unimos.

Each of the competitors were given seven minutes to present their drinks with two minutes preparation time. Within this time frame, they had to narrate the story behind their cocktail as well as explain why they chose their specific Bacardi rum. Contestants were judged not only by the taste of their drinks, but also how they marketed the drink during their segment.

“Bacardi has always been part of a cocktail culture all over the world,” said Sanjit Singh Randhawa, Bacardi’s Managing Director for Southeast Asia. “In fact, we’re [one] of the guys who invented the cocktail,” he said, pointing out the classic rum-based cocktails: the daiquiri, the mojito, and the Cuba Libre.

The contest has been held in the Philippines for two years, and Mr. Randhawa talked about its purpose. “It’s to tell the consumer what our rums are, what they stand for, and how you can make the best cocktails with Bacardi.

“You create a cocktail, you don’t lose the character of Bacardi in the cocktail. There are lots of other products, when you create a cocktail, you can’t even make out what is in it,” said Mr. Randhawa. -- JLG