French Scotty Marshall, bartender at fledgling U Street bar Five to One and national semi-finalist in the annual United States Bartenders’ Guild Legacy Cocktail Competition is just steps away from nabbing the global title in Mexico City on Tuesday, May 1.
First he’ll have to compete in the national championships against nine other bartenders on Tuesday, February 6 in Miami. From there, two U.S. contestants — one from each coast — will be selected to go up against 28 other bartenders from around the world. He’s the first D.C.-based bartender to still be in the mix this far into the 12-year-old contest.
His winning cocktail, dubbed Coki Beach, is made with Bacardi Gran Reserva Ocho rum, toasted coconut syrup, lime juice, and allspice dram. Rules state the drink has to be replicable in any bar — following in the footsteps of classics such as daiquiris and mojitos — so bells and whistles aren’t encouraged.
“It’s about creating your own legacy,” Marshall tells Eater. “The idea is you choose ingredients that should be reflective of a story that is meaningful to you.”
His drink pays homage to his island roots; Marshall was born in Saint Thomas during a category 5 hurricane, and his Coki cocktail is named after a local beach there.
Drinkers can spot the spirit on a few current cocktail menus around town: Service Bar, Hank’s Cocktail Bar, 801, and of course, at Five to One.
So far he’s having fun introducing people to his self-styled drink, throwing a 90s “Fresh Prince of Coki Beach”-themed charity event at Service Bar on January 22. He traveled to NYC on January 23 to show off his creation at East Village’s Von bar with other Bacardi semi-finalists as part of a Going Up drink series.
Next week he’s back in D.C. to sling the cocktail at various pop-ups: catch him at Black Whiskey on Monday, January 29; Cloak and Dagger on Tuesday, January 30; and Chicken + Whiskey on Wednesday, January 31.