TREVOR ALBERTS – MIAMI, FL
Trevor Alberts began his career at 20 as a bar back in an Eat Village bar in NYC. He went on to work at a number of cocktail bars and restaurants both in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Now 25, he works and resides in Miami where he tends bar in the Matador Room at the Miami Beach EDITION. An outspoken lover of cocktail history, Alberts has made it his mission to spread the gospel of the classics that made the modern cocktail movement what it is today.
“When all is said and done, American history has always been a serious interest of mine,” Trevor says.
Alberts is quick to say that he loves working with rum. The tiki cocktail and Polynesian restaurant movement of post-World War II America peaked his interest early on in his development and resonates in many of the cocktails he presents. When asked about cocktails and the Bacardi distillery Trevor said:
“When I make drinks with Bacardi I feel there is a sense of authenticity you don’t get with a lot of spirits as the distillery has been around for so long. I believe that when you see a recipe that calls for light rum, more often than not, it was meant to be Bacardi Superior.”
Alberts, who won the local level Bacardi Legacy Showcase in Miami in 2013 and was runner up in 2014 hopes to achieve this year’s national title with his “International Expansion Swizzle,” which pays homage to the white rum spirit and the globalization of the Bacardi brand in the 1930’s and 40’s.
Nostalgia and American pop-culture through the ages has always been an interest of mine. I feel that making and drinking concoctions from a particular era is like stepping into a “time-capsule.”
Please tell us your inspiration for your winning Legacy cocktail?
I conceptualized my Legacy cocktail around a particular era in the history of the Bacardi Superior brand. This year I decided to focus on the years from 1930 and 1945, a time of international expansion and prosperity for the brand. Those years also coincide with the creation of the tiki-cocktail movement, a style of drink near and dear to my heart.
What is the significance of the name of your Legacy cocktail?
It’s a testament to the continued growth of the brand, The “International Expansion Swizzle,” is not only an homage to history or tiki, it’s also a modern innovation for white rum, a spirit I believe is overlooked in the modern cocktail market.
How did you prepare for the Legacy Showcase?
I try my best to do a very minimal preparation so it all comes out naturally. Of course that is never the case. I sweat the details just like everybody else. Luckily the flight from Miami to Portland is a long one so I was able to get all of my thoughts out on paper and memorized them. Plus, one of us found a bottle of Cazadores Reposado in the green room. That helped.
What is your strategy to win the Legacy Final Competition?
Just be myself and be confident. There are a lot of extremely talented people in this competition, better not to get frazzled by what other people might be doing.
Ego. When I left that behind, I was able to execute in this competition with a little more ease.
What can you tell us about your journey to the finals and what you’ve learned?
Traveling to Portland and competing on a different coast was incredible. Being selected like that was truly an honor. I learned that even out of my element I can achieve things.
What would you like your bartending peers to know about mixing with Bacardi?
That white rum is important! Like gin or vodka it can be used as a building block. The layers of depth and flavor can be achieved on a relatively simple base. It is in danger of being forgotten and I would really like to change that.
What advice can you offer to someone who might want to follow in your footsteps?
Keep it simple. Keep it about the history.
I always say that the beginning of my career and fondness for the modern cocktail stems almost entirely from my appreciation of history and heritage. After dropping out of college while studying American history, I discovered the world of cocktails after taking an unsuspecting bar back job in New York. It was there that I realized that I could relive moments of time through the medium of a glass. After that I was hooked. I love competing in Bacardi Legacy because I believe that it is the only cocktail competition that relies heavily on not only understanding the nuances of the rum and one’s palate for blending it with modifiers, but also understanding the rich heritage of the Bacardi family and it’s namesake commodity: Bacardi Superior.
It is with this ideal that I present the International Expansion Swizzle, a testament to my favorite era of the American cocktail, the faux-Polynesian (or tiki) movement of the late thirties and forties. Furthermore, the name of the quaff was chosen because during the heyday of the tiki movement, the Bacardi brand was expanding to become an international company. In 1944, the year the venerable Mai Tai was created in California, Ron Bacardi opened a bottling plant in Puerto Rico creating the first tariff free enterprise for Bacardi in the United States. I hope you have enjoyed this tidbit of my legacy story and hope to be selected for the 2014-2015 competition! Cheers!
- 1 1/2 oz. BACARDÍ Superior
- 3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
- 1/2 oz. Small Hand Foods Pineapple Gomme
- 1/4 oz. Small Hand Foods Orgeat Syrup
- .12 oz. Don’s Spices #2
- 10 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a sling glass and swizzle with pellet ice. Float Angostura bitters and crown the cocktail with more pellet ice. Garnish with a mint plume, Pineapple leaf and a skewer of cherry and lime