On Sunday, June 30th, our friends at Little City Brewing and Provisions Co. hosted a Bacardi Cocktail Competition featuring craft cocktail bartenders from all over Raleigh and Durham slinging their newest and most-creative recipes for a chance to win some awesome prizes. Two of our own barmen were asked to participate in the competition – Jake Davis behind the bar creating cocktails and Ian Murray serving as one of the judges.
The afternoon started out with ten bartenders competing in a “winner take all” round but due to the stiff competition, two finalists went on to a surprise sudden death round. Jake was last to make his cocktail in the first round, which we thought might have made him a little nervous as he watched the judges critique each of his competitors. Not Jake, though. He shared, “Going last made me confident because I was still excited about my presentation and cocktail.”
The first cocktail Jake created was a daiquiri riff made with Bacardi, banana syrup, Curaçao, and flower. The garnish included three dehydrated bananas with a flower in the middle. Delicious and pleasing to the eyes, too! His second cocktail was a celery shrub stirred drink which featured tiki bitters, celery, and vermouth topped with a bougie twist. Fancy!
Jake admits he was not expecting for a sudden death round, however, this wasn’t his first cocktail rodeo and he was ready to roll with the (tiki) punches! Jake competed earlier this year in the March Madness Cocktail Competition presented by Dragon’s Milk at Dram and Draught. When asked how he felt competing for a second time and he said, “It was still stressful, but I had more time to really focus on my delivery for this competition.”
Overall this was a fun, small community competition. It was a tough competition with a lot of talent but ultimately, Jake won! We couldn’t be more proud of our guy. To learn more about upcoming events and competitions check out our events calendar.