Edinburgh might not be known for its rum, but it is home to a champion rum mixologist. The city's own Lachlan Rooney has been crowned the winner of this year’s Flor de Caña Rum Frontiers UK cocktail competition.
On the day of the final, Rooney faced off against eight other contestants at the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh – the very same venue where he serves as bar manager – to create inventive drinks using the Nicaraguan rum. The bartenders participated in elimination rounds that challenged them to showcase a variety of skills including speed, mixing and presentation. In the first round, the contestants were tasked with crafting cocktails inspired by Nicaraguan culture, using Flor de Caña 7yo Gran Reserva rum.
Later in the day, serves utilised the brand’s other expressions. For his winning drink The Family Tree, Rooney combined Flor de Caña 18yo with homemade marmalade and champagne to tell the story of Don Francisco Alfredo Pellas Canessa, one of the Flor de Caña’s founding members.
Competing on home turf certainly worked in Rooney’s favour. Judges Mateo Ortiz Lima, Flor de Caña’s UK brand ambassador, Marc Catalan, Flor de Caña’s area manager for Europe, and rum expert Ian Burrell all agreed that his creativity merited the grand prize, a trip to Costa Rica.
‘I was up against some really strong competition and was shocked and surprised to have won this years’ Rum Frontiers challenge,’ commented Rooney.
‘I put in a lot of time and effort to think up the story, ingredients and even the garnish of The Family Tree and I’m so glad it paid off.’