The Bacardí Triangle was designed to be "one of the most epic events on the planet", and epic it was. Bacardí flew 1,862 people to the Caribbean Island from all over the world, and headlining the concert on the final evening: Ellie Goulding, Kendrick Lamar, and Calvin Harris.
I flew to Puerto Rico and was whisked away to the El Conquistador Resort on the North East tip of the Island. The resort is massive - cut into the hills of the island with cascading pools, terraces, and palm tree lined courtyards. The views from the hotel into the Caribbean were post card perfect. I was shown to my room, which entailed a walk through the lobby, down an elevator, along a gorgeous breezeway to a funicular, down 2 stops to the marina, through a jungle like outdoor corridor, and finally to my room that overlooked the marina. Fortunately, there was a bottle of Bacardí 8 year waiting for me.
I was one of the first to arrive, so I took advantage of the quiet at the pool and went for a dip at the Las Olas pool, which I would soon learn would have the best cocktails!
That evening, I met up with a few writer friends who were also lucky enough to be included in the 1,862 guests of Bacardí, and we headed to the first party held overlooking 3 cascading swimming pools at the hotel's main building. Frozen Piña Coladas? Don't mind if I do!
|Happiness is a Cold Piña Colada|
|The Calm Before the Storm|
The next day, I ran into a few friendly faces from New York City. Bartenders are always up for a good time, and apparently really like cocktail themed clothing. I was wearing my cocktail dress (of course), and Bacardí Brand Ambassador Jacob Briars, Steve Schneider, and Zdenek Kastanek wanted to make a few edits to my cocktail dress!!!
Suddenly in need of a boozy tropical rummy beverage, I made my way up to Las Olas for my own rum filled pineapple. Manning the bar was a man who can only be described as the Jack Sparrow of Cocktails. Behold:
|Modern Day Hero|
|Boozy Pineapple in Paradise|
2 oz Bacardí Superior Rum
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Velvet Falernum Liqueur
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
Pour ingredients into a low ball glass full of crushed ice. Use a swizzle stick for a solid minute to mix the drink. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and a cocktail umbrella.
We ventured out of the resort for dinner and went to Kasavista where we had Calamari, Fried Puertorican Cheese with Chorizo, Grouper Nuggets, and Conch Fritters, and Mofungo.
After dinner we went on a kayak tour of one of Puerto Rico's bio-luminescence bays. We started late, waiting on a group of 13 to show up. Suddenly, a van pulls up and drops off Ellie Goulding and her entourage to go kayaking! We paired up and took to the water - each of our kayaks had a blue glow stick on it so we could identify who was in our group. Although I tried to get some good photos of the kayaking, the light was just too dark but this was pretty much what it looked like:
We kayaked through the mangroves for about 30 minutes to Laguna Grande, which was filled with bio-luminescent plankton. The water illuminated bright blue as we paddled through the water, and as the fish swam by the boat, they left glittering trails behind. It was impossible to photograph, so you will just have to see it for yourself!
Back on shore, the Halloween party had already started. We costumed up, and headed over to the water park where the festivities were being held. Behold The Kraken:
Once again, the evening ended with sipping Bacardí 8 next to the pool, but this time in costume. Which means, selfies:
The next morning we were off for a tour of the Bacardí Distillery. We learned about the history of the Bacardí Family, and the family's history of throwing epic parties. Even in the early days of Bacardí when they were based in Cuba, the family was known for throwing massive parties with live music and copious amounts of rum.
|Selfie with Pineapple|
|Sugar Cane in Dramatic Lighting|
|The Bacardí Bat|
|View over the Bacardí Distillery Grounds|
When we got back to the hotel people were already lining up to take the ferry to Palomino Island where the party's finale was to be held. The line snaked around the marina and machete-wielding gentlemen served up fresh coconuts with silver rum to the anxious crowd.
|Put the Rum in the Coconut|
After what seemed like a never ending line situation, we finally made it to Paolmino Island. A drink was needed.
Bacardí set up an impressive Triangular shaped stage next to the beach, a massive stage set-up with lights and LED screens. Surrounding the island were thousands of boats, the people of Puerto Rico heard there was a party, and came for the show! And it was time to party!
|Party Boats Surrounding the Island|
Rum Swizzles were sipped, bare feet danced in the sand, and laughs were shared amongst friends.
The sheer scale of this event was impressive - especially considering the massive amount of coordination that is required to pull off an event of this scale. While the Bacardí Triangle was the first party of its kind, I think it sets a new precedent for monumental branded events. It seems as though immersive events are the way of the future - and the cellphone camera has become a critical tool for new media. So the question really is, does a selfie have the same power as a traditional advertisement? The jury is still out, and probably will be until the next major trends in media come to light. One thing I know for sure is that The Bacardí Triangle was, without a doubt, an amazing feat and we have all 7,147 instagram posts to prove it.
Make a rummy drink!
Bounce - Inspired by Calvin Harris
30 ml Bacardí Superior Rum
20 ml Creme de Cacao
10 ml Benedictine
25 ml lime juice
2 t sugar
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with a lime zest.
Forbidden Fruit - Inspired by Kendrick Lamar
50 ml Bacardí 8 Year Rum
30 ml Citrus Juice Blend (equal parts lime, orange and grapefruit juice)
15 ml Passionfruit Syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Shake with Ice and Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with Fresh mint and an orange wedge.