Two of Miami's best bartenders will represent our city in the United States Bartenders' Guild National Showcase, after winning the Miami USBG's LEgacy Cocktail Showcase.
Twelve local bartenders competed at Cipriani Miami for the opportunity to participate in the nationals, and possibly advance to the global showcase in May.
Each bartender was tasked with creating a cocktail using Bacardi Superior rum that will stand among classic rum drinks like the mojito, the daiquiri, and the pina colada.
Nick Nistico, who has worked on the beverage programs at some of Miami's top spots including the SoHo Beach House and the Gale Hotel, and Isaac Grillo, head mixologist at Haven, were proclaimed the winners, each making cocktails worthy of becoming classic libations.
Isaac Grillo took inspiration from the farm-to-table movement for his Snap Apple cocktail, saying "I come from a long history of using local seasonal fresh ingredients. This cocktail embodies my journey through my personal cocktail progression, as I am using some of my favorite but most common ingredients, to create a drink that can reach any demographic."
Nick Nistico's Green Dream was derived from culinary roots. "This cocktail embodies my entire culinary driven style while keeping up with the current industry trend of sherry cocktails. It is bright and vibrant and pairs well with food. It is very approachable to the common bar guest, yet has flavor and character to satisfy even the most particular palate."
Each bartender will advance to the National Showcase, right here in Miami, on February 18th to compete against regional winners from Boston, Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago and New York.
Here are their winning recipes to create at home.
Isaac Grillo's "Snap Apple"
1 ½ parts Bacardi superior
¾ part fresh kiwi
¾ part green apple purée
¾ part fresh lime juice
¾ part simple syrup
1 part spicy ginger beer
Place fresh kiwi, sour green apple purée, lime, sugar, and Bacardi all in shaker with large shaking ice so there is little dilution. Strain ingredients over crushed ice in Collins glass and top with ginger beer.
Garnish with kiwi chips candied in sour green apple juice.
Nick Nistico's "Green Dream"
2 parts Bacardi Superior
¾ part Amontillado sherry
1 part sugar snap pea juice
1 ½ parts lime syrup
1 dash Malden sea salt
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Build all ingredients into a shaker. Hard shake and strain with a smile. Garnish with sugar snap peas on a pick and a lemon twist that is then discarded.