Name: António Saldanha de Oliveira
Bar: Curfew Cocktail Bar
Years in the industry: 9 years
Drink name and recipe: El Obsequio, in English The Gift
60ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
15ml Cocchi Americano
30ml Lime juice
20ml Mimosa syrup
Why did you enter Bacardi Legacy?
“There’s three major reasons that made me get involved in Bacardi Legacy, first of all of course because it´s one of the bar industry biggest and most respected and well reputed bartender competition in the World, but most of all for the personal connection the competition transmits and subscribes, with the deep rooted connections with Bacardi Family Legacy and the inspiring bartenders around the World, and myself personally to search and discover my own Legacy. Last but not least, the challenge it brings as a competition. In the nowadays fast growing and upcoming bar scene and bar trends, I found through the years that one of the biggest challenges in the bartender journey isn’t getting in touch with the new approaches and modern trends, but it´s being able to disconnect from all of that and master the basics and simplicity enabling you to create a cocktail that can stand the test of time and become a classic.”
What was the inspiration behind your drink?
“My inspiration for El Obsequio came from a gift. A gift that manifests a gesture of gratitude from the Bacardi Family that showed me how important values are to create a legacy in life. In order to show gratitude for the people who believed in the bacardi project from the beginning, regardless all the problems faced through the years, in 1888 Bacardi family created El Obsequio del Bacardi, a beautiful perfume bottle to be gifted. More than this perfume, more than the gift itself, this gesture inspired me for the values it transmits, because it was upon the praise of this values that Bacardi family managed to build the legacy they built, as I want to built my own legacy upon my own values.”
What makes it a Legacy cocktail?
“I believe the major factors to make it a legacy cocktails is the fact that is a simple recipe based on 4 traceable ingredients, with the same core of a daiquiri base that anyone in the World proudly know how to do it, but still with a gifted complexity from the cocchi americano and it’s bittersweet notes, plus all the fragrant, rich and perfumy aromas characteristic for the mimosa flowers that make El Obsequio a fresh, delightful and still intricate drink.”
How hard has it been to create a new classic?
“As I told before, for me this is really one of the biggest challenges a bartender can face. Being able to create something unique out of the same ingredients that thousands of bartenders around the World are able to store at their back bars is something that makes you really stop and wonder. Almost like trying to find the explanation to the Universe creation in a way!”
What does the competition mean to you either personally and/or professionally?
“I look at this competition with proud eyes. I’m really proud of myself to be able to reach this stage, go to London and represent Denmark, the country that cheerfully open his arms to me and became my new home. Besides that I’m proud I crossed paths with people that inspired me to truly understand the Bacardi Legacy Competition spirit and burst my fire to attend this competition like last year’s competitors and industry colleagues that keep inspiring me to push my boundaries and become a better person and a better professional.”
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
“Competing against the 8 Danish finalist and knowing that among them were the top bartenders from the country and the huge challenge that represented.”
What do you think you will gain most from participating?
“I think the most beautiful thing about our profession is being recognized by our work and dedication and I believe that is the biggest gain of them all. Of course you get exposure, opportunities to travel and everything attached to this major competition but for me in the end, what really feels good is the appreciation from our guest, friends, family, colleagues and as well, be able to inspire other bartenders to push their boundaries and search for their own legacy.”
What would it mean for you to represent Denmark at the Global finals?
“This would be truly a great honor and the best way for me to show my gratitude for Denmark, the country that made already possible some of my dreams to come true would certainly have all my blood and sweat to highly represent it.”