Bacardi Summer 2018: Interview with Samuel Trudeau
A few weeks ago at a Cointreau event, we sat down with Samuel Trudeau Ambassador Bacardi for Quebec and the Maritimes (and also a little ambassador RDPMAG) the time to know what would be the Bacardi Summer 2018. On the menu , boxing, tequila, gin and French vodka.
So Samuel, how are you?
It’s great, it’s summer, the weather is nice, it’s hot. We have lots of projects on the line and we are very happy to participate in these projects that we activate. It goes quickly.
Bacardi Summer 2018 – The BBO Cazadores Project
If we started with a project that took off a little earlier this summer, the BBO (Bartender Boxing Organization) with Tequila Cazadores, could you tell us more, because it seems really interesting and a game changer in the industry.
It’s a project that never took place in Canada, it’s the first time here in Montreal and Toronto, and it’s one of the big projects of the Bacardi Summer 2018. It’s a program that started a few years ago.The project was launched by Raj Nagar, the Bombay Sapphire World Ambassador, a great boxing fan who, during a visit to Mexico in the region where the Cazadores is produced, realized that there were a lot of boxers who came from this region and set out to challenge the Bartenders, for 3 months, to train them with a personal private trainer, who knows the boxing world and will develop these people with the latter having a better lifestyle, consuming less alcohol and eating better and in the end, showing them that there is another side at the level of bartending to support them.
So how does it work? We took bartenders from each city for this round, no. 4, # bboround4, men and women, and the training started a few weeks ago and for 3 months as I said earlier, in order to be ready for their respective finals which will take place on August 27 in Toronto and August 29 in Montreal, to reach and push their limits, and allow them to discover a side of them they may not have known.
How were these bartenders chosen?
It’s not very complicated, the BBO program is really run by people who are part of the boxing community. So it’s not just a liquor company that said we are getting into boxing, but they are dealing with professionals who run the program and there has been a long hiring process for boxer apprentices, if we can call it a hiring rather than a participation. Everything was done in the manner of an interview where we had people who auditioned, with their different goals, their lifestyle, the boxing experience, their physical condition. There were people I had never worked with, so it allowed me to discover new people (I also do the program with the participants). It must also be said that these people were chosen by weight category also so that the fights are fair and equal.
The Montreal Bartenders:
- Gabrielle Panaccio
- Julien Laroques
- Samuel Turp
- Daniel Boulianne
- Valérie McLellan
- Pierre-Yves Nadeau
- Simon St-Germain
- Francis Lefebvre
- Charlotte Ronson
- Meriem Iddir
The Toronto Bartenders:
- Brooke Webber
- Nicole Rogers
- Meagan Murray
- Chantelle Gabino
- Meagan Hounsell
- Monique Godinho
- Tristan Joseph
- Dustin Keating
- Rob Renda
- Greg Moar
- Matthew Kopysh
- Mac Lebioda
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Has the BBO program influenced other brands at Bacardi to go in the same direction as Cazadores in wellness?
The St-Germain brand (Sureau liqueur) is already in this state of mind with its Yoga and Cocktail program named #FluentFrench as they call it. I personally believe that it influences several brands of other companies also in the United States who launched a similar program, they wanted to stick to this new trend, but the avant-gardists in this line have really been Cazadores. I believe that the influence is felt internally at Bacardi, as well as externally, it makes talk and it is a good thing for all.
It’s really interesting, because you know how people do not necessarily have the easiest schedules. You finish at 2-3 o’clock in the morning, then you go home, it is 5-6 hours, you sleep, you get up at 16h, you go to work, etc. It’s really a great initiative to have this beautiful fitness for a healthier lifestyle even if the schedules are a little crazy.
For example, there is Sam Turp of the Pantry who has lost 15 pounds already! He really lowered his weight to 180-175. There are also people who have gained weight (in muscle) like Daniel Boulianne of Coldroom. There are girls who surpass themselves in their physical abilities, there are two bartenders who smoked and who stopped. The impact is quite noticeable.
That’s good, but after the BBO, what do you do to help these people stay in shape?
It is certain that it is an intensive program of 3 months, one immerses people in an immersion. The plan, after that, is to follow up and see how people have evolved, to see what has changed about their mentality, we say that it takes 21 days to make a change in our fast, we will exceed largely 21 and the important thing is to keep a follow-up. People are adults and vaccinated, they can do what they want afterwards, and we will always encourage them to take care of them. To develop their physical abilities in this area.
If we return a little to the product Cazadores, you have just acquired Patron, a second tequila in your portfolio, could you tell us a little about Cazadores?
The two are very different, when it comes to clothing, Cazadores comes from Los Altos in Mexico, a tequila that is all-purpose. The first created was the Reposado, a product that was more tasty, a little aged at the recipe level, a tequila, very eco-friendly. The cooking and harvesting methods are really elaborate and more up-to-date so as not to lose elements that go into the making of tequila including agua honey. It’s really an all-purpose tequila, and we still have a very interesting lineage with the Anejo and Extra Anejo.
If we talk about Patrón, when they started the adventure, Bacardi was already in the adventure, but in a smaller way and it was implied that Bacardi would take control. The management of Patrón really put a superb structure in place and made a great product. Having visited the Hacienda in Mexico, we really love this product and we enter the most upscale. We can really differentiate the two. La Patrón is like the Cazadores, made in a very traditional way, whether it is the bottle or the product.
Bacardi Summer 2018 – MIB – The Most Imaginative Bartender
Competition of Bombay Sapphire
It’s really a great program and a wonderful brand of Tequila. We talked about Bombay Sapphire rather with Raj, there was recently the contest Most Imaginative Bartender in Toronto always in the Bacardi Summer, you can slip me a few words?
It was the national finals, we had 10 participants from Canada who showed up, including two from Quebec (Maximiliano Vallée-Valletta and Jonathan Homier) and one from Halifax, because Halifax is also a market that I also take care of. There were two people from Toronto, two from Calgary and three from Vancouver. It’s not complex, the MIB competition is a competition that uses the imagination, people who have a concept, who bring us into their world and push the boundaries. There are hardly any rules. It’s really about having creations that will surprise you. The format was not complex. The first day was the presentation before three judges. On the aspect of taste, smell, imagination, concept and technique at the cocktail. The second day was a consumer party. We invited 250 people to participate in the event and all the bartenders took their recipe which was super complicated and advanced and we reduced to the simplest to make a cocktail for the public who could then come to talk to them, learn on their journey, how they got the idea, etc. The public could then leave with the recipe and recreate the cocktail at home.
Where does this competition come from, what is history?
It’s been several years since the competition exists, above 10 years old. This is a program that has been put forward to engage bartenders in a different way. It has always been in Bombay’s DNA this advanced little side, to preach the imagination, the expression. More and more with the development of the new distillery, it’s still a few years, Laverstoke Mill, but it’s a process of zero waste, at the level of botanical elements and everything. His presence for a decade has been to raise the awareness of bartenders and Montreal is one of the big competitions.
The next step is what for MIB?
Our two winners (Max Curzon-Price and James Bailey) will be going to Tales of the Cocktails in New Orleans (already happened) with us, the Bacardi team, to participate in the activations, happenings, 5-7 , tasting room, to live the experience. There will also be an official dinner for MIB participants where we will educate them to improve their skills. Then the next step is London, in the week of September 7th. What awaits them there is unheard of. 3 to 4 days of sensory challenges, on how to better use gin, on how to create concepts never seen with gin (perfumes, teas, meals, etc.) There will be 16 finalists who will be present to show their talents .
Grey Goose – A new bottle signed Quentin Monge for the Bacardi Summer 2018.
If we go back a little to Grey Goose. It has a new summer bottle that was featured at Grey Goose Le Marché in late June. Could you tell us a little about it?
Grey Goose is really a product of the French soil (you will find our interview with François Thibault in our holiday magazine 2017), Picardie, so we always had this very French and very authentic image. Beyond all this, there is the artist Quentin Monge, this incredible artist who, being younger, drew umbrellas in the sand. The bottle is inspired by these drawings and brings the audience back to the childhood of the artist, where his art really began. It’s a tribute to the French Riviera, to the French Riviera. Perfect for a Bacardi Summer!
And if we talk about you, it will soon be a year since you joined the Bacardi team. What’s coming after your tour at Tales of The Cocktails?
Tales is really my next project, it is until July 22, when we return, we will be in the preparations for the BBO, the plan will be to put our athletes as fit as possible, to push them to the maximum.
There will also be activations with the Grey Goose Summer Soirée Party all over the place. We are also launching new products from Martini, Riserva vermouth, Ambrato, which is a Bianco vermouth with quinine and rhubarb inside, and Rubino, one of the only vermouth in the world with a base of red wine inside, Nebiolo, it’ll be watching. And finally, we have the cherry on the sundae as we say with the bitter Martini that comes to compete hard bitters. At the moment they are private imports, but after the summer we hope it will be available to consumers.
I will finish the interview with our RDPMAG questionnaire.
- Your favorite city in the world and why?Miami. It’s very fashionable, it’s beaches, islands, I have a lot of friends there and the way of life is very relaxed. More Miami Beach side than Miami Center.
- Your favorite restaurant in the world and why? I loved the Zuma in Dubai where I was lucky enough to go more than two years ago now. It is an Izakaya style restaurant, but fine cuisine. The first floor is 200 people sushi, and the 2nd floor is 300 people with a bar and a team of 14 bartenders and an excellent cocktail program and the food is extremely good. There are also several Zuma around the world, but Jimmy Barrat takes care of the one in Dubai.
- Your favorite bar? It is difficult, because I would like to visit a lot again. The Dante Cafe in New York. An Italian style bar, typical aperitif. They serve their famous Garibaldi aperitivo with cold pressed orange juice in cloud style on the cocktail. They will take it with a spoon to stir. This is the experience that is especially amazing, old style Italian coffee, people, etc.
- Your favorite car brand?Audi, I have always had a penchant for Audi and this is my new acquisition and more. I think it’s an elegant, sporty, comfortable and classy brand. I really like Audi.
- Your favorite airline?I think Air Canada really stands out. I often go to Toronto and fly with different companies, but with Air Canada, it’s always a nice welcome, they’re bilingual and it’s always interesting for us traveling all over North America and definitely, they know do the best.
- Your favorite place for your holidays?I would say Mexico, but the Caribbean, where I will soon snorkel is definitely a place I love and where I started my career in hospitality. So the Caribbean will always have a place in my heart.
- Your favorite place to shop?It’s hard. I love Zara for every day and their European haircuts make us look good too. I like their series of loafers (what Samuel wore during the interview) is my style and I like it a lot.
- The place where you go to disconnect? The cottage. I have a friend who has a cottage, a boat, we can wakeboard, surf, and we disconnect, we get there and we get good food, we are friends, there is no of stress, we make martinis. But my first answer would be any place where I can meet up with my girlfriend. She always keeps me a little on the ground because she is a nurse, and reminds me that there are people who work hard to keep us healthy.
- Something essential to your life?My girlfriend would say my phone. But beyond that, my family. I have a small family, and we are very close to each other and when we see each other and they take me back to my roots, and that’s very important.
Thank you very much Samuel and see you soon!