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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Interview with Mixologist Richie Cruz about his career and his El Tindero cocktail entry for the Bacardi Legacy Philippines


I met Richie through Facebook, he contacted me last year and he introduced himself as a bar tender and also as a mixologist, he sent me a series of invites to visit him in a bar in QC and in his office in Marikina, to try his cocktail creations and also learn the master of mixing a good cocktails.

Im no heavy drinker, but drinking cocktails are good and the best drink in a tropical country like in the Philippines, it is served in a cold glass with mixture of different flavor and some alcohol kick.

I’m so interested to learn how to make one, but I didn’t got a chance to meet Richie last year due to my busy schedules. Then this 2016, I learned that he is part of the 5 finalist for the Bacardi Legacy national competition that will happen tonight in Buddah Bar.

Richie will feature his El Tindero cocktail mix as entry for the Philippine leg. The winner will represent our country and compete for a world title abroad, the crowned world title Bacardi Legacy holder, will be awarded and will travel the world with Bacardi to serve and sell his/her cocktail winning entry.

Richie Cruz

Its funny that when I visited Café Enye in Eastwood City for a food tasting, I learned that Richie is stationed there as a guest bar tender to serve and sell his El Tindero cocktail drink. I messaged him and told him I’m there, but sadly we didn’t meet because his shift is at night and I left the café before 5pm just to escape the traffic in EDSA.

But before I left the café, I was served with his cocktail entry. The El Tindero.

El Tindero

Im totally clueless about the taste when I saw this drink.
But after some sip, I tasted a coconut flavor with a smooth and mild sensation.
The rim of the glass also added some factor because the rim is filled with dried coconut meat and some muscovado sugar.

Wow! that was an awesome cocktail drink.
Because the drink with a Bacardi mix is not that strong, not too weak, the alcohol content is just right and this will go well with your nice paella rice when you are in Café Enye.


So after a month, me and Richie met for the very first time. He invited me to visit his event, the Bacardi U-Mix student bartending competition, I was challenged to judge all 16 cocktail drinks and it was super fun. It’s a new experience to me and its very memorable. Its my first time to try and see the art of mixing drinks done by students from all over the Philippines.


Richie also posted his recipe online.
He wants everyone to try and use his recipe.
I also noticed that some bar tenders and student mixologist tried the drink and they got the same “suave” flavor according to them,.

I think my next challenge is to try the El Tindero at home. Great work Richie! thanks for sharing this.


Here’s a short Q and A with Richie Cruz.

1. How and when did you start as a Mixologist?
Richie: I started bartending in 1998 at virgin cafe in Tomas Morato

2. Where did you learn about bar tending and making your own concoction?
Richie: I learned from different books and different people

3. Do you think that being a bar tender and mixologist can be a professional career?
Richie: yes it has always been and will always be a profession

4. Tell us more about your entry for the Bacardi Legacy?
Richie: El Tindero was inspired by Don Facundo Bacardi since he was the ultimate businessman

5. Why did you join? and is this your first time to join?
Richie: I joined because I wanted to challenge myself. I have always been an organizer and not a competitor, so this is new for me

6. Why El Tindero? do you have other original recipe for cocktails? and why El Tindero as a name of your mix?
Richie: Yes I did a few like Paraluman. Hunyango, Bwitrem Tikyo, Tikya. and El Tindero, Because I wanted to make a drink for all the workers that has passion and value for family.

7. What's the benefit of joining the Bacardi Legacy contest ?
Richie: network. brotherhood.test of character. sometimes people are just good in talking but no walking

8. What would you do if you won the national contest and the world contest?
Richie: I will be happy if I won and thank everybody who believed and supported me.One day at a time

9. Can you share some tips in making a nice cocktail drink using available ingredients at home?
Richie: My tip is never be afraid to try but try to research before you do try.the secret to a cocktail is balance.

10. The Bacardi Legacy finals is on March 10, can you tell us how you condition yourself to prepare for the finals? Do you practice? and what's your best assets or style to convince people to try your El Tindero?
Richie: Practice your set up., practice your lines. Know your time and motion. Look in the mirror.
My best asset is my.communication skills.

11. Where can we contact you just in case we want to hire you as our mixologist?
Richie: You can contact me at or 09156514733

Good luck to you Richie!
And see you later at the Bacardi Legacy Finals in Buddah Bar.
Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.
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