Mike Cheong is the Brand Ambassador for BACARDÍ, considered a household brand name for bars and restaurants everywhere. We sit down with him to explore BACARDÍ, how the brand maintains its standards of excellence, and the company's involvement in the recent Whiskey Festival.
BACARDÍ is considered the preferred choice for rum by connoisseurs. What sets it apart from different rum brands in the market?
Firstly, we are fearless- In 1862, Don Facundo threw away the rule book to make our own unique blends of rums with a revolutionary rum-making process that would change the way rum was made forever. Next, we are diverse. We have a rum for everyone, like the “Classics” (BACARDÍ Carta Blanca/ Carta Oro/ carta negra), “Flavored” (Coconut/Pineapple/Mango), “Ready-To-Drink” (Breezers/Mojitos), and “Premiums” (BACARDÍ Cuatro/Ocho/Diez). Lastly, our rums are delicious. Our revolutionary rum-making process helps us create delicious blends of rums that are irresistible. Till date, BACARDÍ has won more than 550 awards for the quality of our rums.
How does BACARDÍ maintain its standards of excellence amongst its competitors?
Making high quality and consistent spirits is extremely difficult. But in BACARDÍ, we have thousands of dedicated employees who work day and night to achieve this. BACARDÍ is made using a proprietary strain of yeast discovered by Don Facundo growing wildly in the sugarcane fields of Santiago de Cuba, during the early 1850s. Known as La Levadura BACARDÍ, (the BACARDÍ Yeast) he isolated it and it has been used continuously to produce BACARDÍ Rum ever since. It is the DNA of BACARDÍ Rum and creates a unique flavour profile that cannot be recreated using any other strain of yeast.
Has there been any attempt to pair up BACARDÍ Rum with Asian food? What kind of flavours would work with BACARDÍ’s signature flavours?
As BACARDÍ is known as the most mixable rum in the world, we can create limitless BACARDÍ cocktails to pair with any types of cuisines, because of how versatile the rum is. I would recommend “Pink Me Up” (BACARDÍ Legacy 2019 Global Champion Ronnaporn Neung’s cocktail) paired with Chili Crab from Singapore or Dim Sum from Hong Kong.
In your opinion, what is your favourite BACARDÍ Rum product, and how do you take it?
My favourite has to be BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho. For seven generations, the BACARDÍ family enjoyed it during our family celebrations and today we share this beautiful rum to the world to create special moments together. I love making classic old-fashioneds with BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho.
What’s next for BACARDÍ in the Asian Pacific market?
BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail Competition is opening entries on 20th June for its 2020 global finals with exciting news that will allow bartenders from all over the world to enter, regardless of whether their country currently participates. Forty of the world’s most innovative and exceptional bartenders will compete for the global title and one spot will be taken by the winner of the new Wildcard entry channel – bringing the opportunity to create a lasting legacy and join the BACARDÍ Legacy Gran Familia to more bartenders than ever before.
From August of 2019, we will be launching BACARDÍ 4yrs (Cuatro) and BACARDÍ 10yrs (Diez) in selected markets in Southeast Asia. To complete this premium collection, BACARDÍ 8yrs (Ocho) will be a part of this launch.
What is BACARDÍ’s involvement in the DFS Whisky Festival 2019?
For DFS Whisky Festival, we introduced the Compass Box No Name No. 2 and Royal Brackla The Exceptional Cask Series 20 Year Old at DFS Changi.