Bacardi Legacy Singapore: Peter Chua shakes it to the top

For every bartender around the world, it is a dream to represent his or her own country in the prestigious annual Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail competition. For Peter Chua from 28HKS, his dream is now a reality as he recently emerged as Singapore’s choice at the Bacardi Legacy Singapore Nationals held at Long Bar, Raffles Hotel on Wednesday.

He will be flying to Sydney, Australia in May 2015 to compete with 35 other finalists from around the world for his cocktail creation to be the next legacy cocktail. Close runner-up Russell Cardoza from Tippling Club will also be flying alongside to observe the competition.

Click through our slideshow to see who else was shortlisted as a National finalists and learn how to make their original rum-inspired cocktails, including Peter Chua’s winning recipe.

Related: Meet the Bacardi Legacy Hong Kong & Macau finalists

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1. Russell Cardoza from Tippling Club

Having worked in the hospitality industry as a waiter and bartender in Singapore’s top night clubs since he was merely 18, Russell has had much experience with mixology. Previously from the renowned Club Street Social, he has now found solace at Tippling Club, under mentorship of owner chef Ryan Clift and head barman Kamil Foltan.

Cocktail: Smashin’ Good Thyme

50ml Bacardi Superior Rum

2.5ml yellow Chartreuse

25ml lemon juice

15ml rich sugar syrup

3 teaspoons unfrozen green peas (muddled)

4 sprigs thyme

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2. Vijay Mudaliar from Operation Dagger

Vijay’s bartending journey began as a way to earn spare cash as a student. But one thing led to another, and he soon turned full-time in 2008 at Zouk, Singapore’s longest standing club.

In 2012, he turned his attention to the finer side of bartending – cocktails. He then joined Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton at his first cocktail bar in Asia, The Library. Securing second place in the Diplomatico Rum tournament and a finalist at Bols Around the World in 2013, he currently works with Luke Whearty at Operation Dagger.

Cocktail: Ingenios Cafetal

50ml Bacardi Superior Rum

25ml lemon juice

15ml maple syrup

10ml Campari

2 dashes coffee

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3. Ricky Paiva from Manhattan

With an eye-catching moustache and a wide smile that won him “Best Personality” at G’Vine Gin Connoiseur Program Global Finals in France, 2012, Ricky’s specialty is combining his creativity and expertise to revive classic and forgotten cocktails.

Having a decade of experience in bartending, Ricky is particularly skilled and passionate about housemade ingredients, which makes him a good fit for the bar he works at now, Manhattan – the world’s first in-hotel rickhouse with a collection of housemade ingredients.

Cocktail: Los Reyes

45ml Bacardi Silver

15ml sweetened condensed milk

22ml coconut milk

A bar spoon of maple syrup

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4. Peter Chua from 28HKS

A familiar face among the patrons of 28HKS, Peter Chua’s success with the spirits came across by chance in 2011, when he filled in for a friend to mix drinks at a party coincidentally hosted by Michael Callahan, the owner of 28HKS, an American-style speakeasy.

Coming a long way since then, the young barman has achieved a few accolades such as Bols around the World Singaporean Champion, Diageo World Class Singapore Champion and South East Asia Champion. With a signature dance when he shakes his cocktails and an extensive knowledge of spirits and ingredients, this young man’s budding career looks very promising.

Cocktail: Sugar Man

45ml Bacardi Superior

15ml lime juice

15ml rich ginger syrup

45ml ginger beer top up

2 dashes of Absinthe

Few cucumber slices

A pinch of salt

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5. Alvin Au Yong from The Library

Initially bartending in Australia as a way to earn extra cash to pay off rent and tuition fees, Alvin’s interest in cocktails was piqued. He then took up short bartending courses and started freelancing at a few different bars.

In May 2014, he was offered to set up a bar in Singapore – Nutmeg & Clove. Today, he has returned as the Assistant Bar Manager at the password-only bar, The Library.

Cocktail: Eastern Remedy

50ml Bacardi Superior

10ml Crème de cacao white

5ml Dom Benedictine

10ml lime juice

30ml coconut water