National cocktail days aren’t just a great excuse to drink delicious libations—they are also an important way for the bartending community to come together through events and culture.

When it comes to rum, we’re always looking to celebrate with BACARDÍ. As today is National Rum Punch Day, we caught up with Gn Chan, the winner of the 2016 BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition. Chan talks about life after winning the cocktail contest, why national cocktail days are significant to the bartending community and what he’s drinking to celebrate National Rum Punch Day.

BACARDÍ Legacy Winner Gn Chan

BACARDÍ Legacy Winner Gn Chan

Talk to us about bartending life after winning the BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition.

It has been three years since winning the competition, and I’m really grateful that I got the opportunity to explore the world with BACARDÍ. I have tried and learned so many new things, so I will always consider it a once in a lifetime experience. This opportunity has also brought me closer to the bartender community, which has motivated me in many different ways and constantly redefines why and what I’d like to deliver through my cocktail creations.

I also have a dream of owning my own bar, but unfortunately the process of finding a space and signing the lease has been much harder than I expected. It didn’t get easier even after I won the competition, but I appreciate every obstacle that has made me stronger, and I kept pushing myself to do something different—such as the Road Trip Pop-up project all around the United States. After 4.5 years, I’m thrilled to share that we finally have the lease signed and are going to open Double Chicken Please in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan at the end of 2019.

Tell us about National Rum Punch Day. What’s the importance of this day to cocktail culture?

For me, what is so meaningful is how every different brand and individual bars are hosting a series of events on the day to bring back that genuine happiness which is deeply rooted in rum culture. They’re working to influence the consumer and put big smiles on everybody’s faces.

How does BACARDÍ Rum’s heritage and history shape the different national rum cocktail days, and why do you think so?

The Bacardi family has endured hardships and have overcome many obstacles to become who they are today. Not only have they produced great products, but they have also influenced music, art and many different fields, and have encouraged and supported numerous people to chase their dreams. On the different national cocktail days, BACARDÍ as a company gathers these talents to celebrate through their performance, not only for people to enjoy creative output but also understand what the BACARDÍ spirit stands for.

What is your favorite rum cocktail?

Le Latin from Franck Dedieu, Bacardi Legacy Global winner 2015.

Le Latin, cocktail on white

Le Latin

Le Latin

From Franck Dedieu, Bacardi Legacy Global winner 2015

Ingredients:

  • 45 ml. Bacardi Carta Blanca
  • 20 ml. White Wine (Preferably Viognier)
  • 20 ml. Freshly-Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 6 ml. Olive Brine
  • 2 bar spoons Sugar Cane
  • Olive (to Garnish)

Preparation: Add all liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a coupe glass and garnish with an olive.