On April 22nd to April 24th Anya Lily Montague (Mr. Porter Amsterdam) will join (and hopefully win) The Bacardi Legacy global finals with her Companion cocktail in San Francisco..
On November 4th 2015 Anya was announced one of four ‘most promising’ bartenders at the Bacardi Legacy Benelux Cocktail Competition. The next coming months the bartenders had to execute their marketing campaign, and raise at much awareness for their cocktail at possible. Active campaigns on social media, guest bartending shifts all around the world, events, workshops and listings on bar menu’s were among the possibilities. With all her efforts and successful results Anya was announced the Benelux winner during a special Bacardi Legacy North European finalists event on the 15th of March.
I’m meeting Anya at Mr. Porter, the cocktail bar of Amsterdam’s brand new W hotel, where she’s managing the bar together with her partner Leo Owen-Boys. Anya: “When I created my legacy cocktail, Mr. Porter was still in it’s pre-opening phase, the ice machine wasn’t even installed yet. I was given just 3 days to develop my Legacy cocktail recipe and story before the deadline closed so I made a make-shift bar using plastic bags of ice and my own kit. For the name of the drink I eventually thought about what actually molded my bartending career? What made me become a true travelling bartender? The answer was that my fellow bartenders, colleagues, guests and friends all around the globe kept me going. My companions.”
Good ol’ Ernest Hemmingway
Anya continues: “I thought about the history of rum, and thought about the legendary man known for his love of rum, cocktails and travelling: Ernest Hemingway. Wherever he lived in the world, he had a different wife. So that makes for lots of companions. He lived with his first wife in Paris where they were partying and drinking lots of Martini’s, which is represented in the cocktail by French dry vermouth Noilly Prat and the pear.”
“Hemingway married his second wife in North Africa. That’s where I add the black pepper. He once wrote: Whenever hunting big game I often drink rum to take the nerve of. Funny enough, rum is not African as sugar cane isn’t. So that’s why sugar is replaced by honey.”
“He then moved to Spain and found his next wife, a firey and untameable woman. The marriage ended fast, and they left with on a sour note – represented by Spanish lemon.His travel ended In Cuba, which of course is represented by Bacardi rum. All these stories and ingredients floated together nicely, and thus the Companion was born.“
The Companion is on the menu at Mr. Porter. It’s a refreshing and smooth rum cocktail in which every ingredient seems to make sense. Personally I like the subtle funkiness added by the herby French dry vermouth and the black pepper.
If you haven’t tasted it yet, go get yours. Or make it yourself.
Being the lucky bastard that I am I’ll be cheering for Anya at the Bacardi Legacy global finals in San Francisco as a drinks reporter for Entree magazine. Keep you posted on that one. Cheers!
Companion – Recipe
50 ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
10 ml Noilly Prat Dry vermouth
2 bar spoons pear puree
1 pinch of cracked black pepper
25 ml fresh lemon juice
15 ml honey
Method & garnish:
Shake over ice and fine strain in a champagne glass. Garnish with a small mint leaf on the rim of the glass.
Opening photo: Bacardi Legacy Benelux Competition – Amsterdam, November 2015 © Ming Chao