Playa Bacardi – Summer is finally here, and what better way to welcome it in than with cool, refreshing cocktails at Playa Bacardi, a pop-up island rum bar. This one-night-only event transformed the chic, intimate patio at Leslieville’s Barrio Cerveceria, into a vibrant, bustling island retreat, complete with a steel drum band, Latin dancers, and mouth-watering Caribbean foods.
Playa Bacardi was like an oasis in the city, full of Torontonians looking for a way to beat the heat and have some fun. As the steel drum band played, guests sampled custom made summer cocktails designed by Bacardi Brand Ambassador Juan Coronado, who’s passion and skill as a cocktail master was evident in every detail. He created four specialty drinks exclusively for Playa Bacardi that brought out the flavour and spirit of summer.
First, there was the Cardamom Mojito. “It’s in a tall glass filled with ice and mint, very refreshing. But the difference with this one is that we infuse it with cardamom syrup that we made especially for this cocktail. We roast the cardamom pods so they open up, and then we add water and slow cook them until they become a fragrant syrup that we add to the traditional mojito.” The result is a thirst-quenching concoction with a light, pleasant tang that really is a perfect summer drink.
Next, Juan recommended the El Coco, made with roasted coconut milk, coconut syrup, coconut water, and Bacardi Superior Rum, poured over shaved ice, and served in a cute, little, cracked coconut. “We cracked over 150 coconuts by hand,” he said because he wanted the real tangible, rustic feel for this very special drink.
Without a doubt, the Original Daiquiri is one of the most famous and traditional drinks in the world, and it’s this cocktail where Juan’s passion and expertise are truly evident.
A Short History of the Daiquiri
“People have a misconception about this drink. El Daiquiri is a mining town in Cuba, and the cocktail was invented by an American engineer who was operating the mines in there. One day he ran out of his usual gin drink, so he went and grabbed the local spirit, which was Bacardi, squeezed some limes and added sugar. Then he chipped some ice from a block and shook it in a cocktail shaker.” This crisp, clean shaken recipe is a far cry from the thick, blender variety of the sweet mixture we’re more familiar with.
Finally, the last summer cocktail of the evening was the Ananas Old Fashioned, made with Bacardi 8, pineapple juice, pineapple bitters, and a simple piece of candied pineapple served over a perfect, clear ice cube. Slow sipping this slight twist on an old favourite rounded out the evening perfectly.
By the end of the night the band was jammin’, guests were dancin’, and summer cocktails were flowin’; Playa Bacardi was in full island mode.
Great summer cocktails are made from simple ingredients, a thirst for experimentation, and a passion for living life to its fullest with family and friends. For more inspiration on how to make traditional and original drinks from the most famous name in rum, visit bacardi.com.