Standing Firme with Nadav at 223
Nadav Ariel is a bartender at the elite 223 cocktail bar in Tel Aviv. He has created an incredible Bacardi based cocktail called Firme for the international Bacardi Legacy competition. Besides tasting good, Firme is also the embodiment of his path and steadfastness in staying in an unconventional profession which helps bring him, as well as others, fulfillment and joy.
And yet, the bartenders of this world-renowned Tel Aviv institution ensure that there is always a modern, Israeli twist to old classics and timeless favorites. But what makes this establishment really tick is its quality tenders who are never afraid to come up with a new and exciting cocktail.
One of these bartenders is Nadav Ariel. Having over half a decade’s worth of experience under his belt, Nadav is one of the fastest rising stars in one of the top cocktail towns in the world, as evidenced by his participation in the elite Bacardi Legacy competition.
It is this steadfastness and love of the bartending arts which led him to create his signature drink – Firme.
Meaning “strength” in Spanish, Nadav has turned this drink into a biography of himself. Firme is the embodiment of his expressive nature, of his steadfastness in keeping with the bartending arts when society tells him that he needs to become something more “normal.”
The resilience needed to continue and succeed in a profession which requires just as much hard work and energy as any other, and which motivates him to get up and get going every single day can be tasted in Nadav’s signature cocktail, crafted specifically for the competition.
All the elements of Nadav’s signature Firme cocktail are flavors and sensory experiences which all helped shaped Nadav into the expert bartender he is today. The smooth Bacardi Gold base eliciting memories of the smooth sand of the beaches of his native Rishon Le’Zion Israel.
Fresh guava juice, tasting as if they were picked right off the tree which grew in the backyard of his childhood home, help to provide a relaxing and sweet feel for the drink. The sweetness of the guava and the Bacardi is balanced out by the tartness of freshly squeezed limes, grown in an orchard less than an hour’s drive away.
Nadav has created his own infusion of honey and rosemary specifically for this one of a kind cocktail – two flavors which blend together and, when sipped upon in the cozy 223 saloon bar, wash over the palate in a perfectly blended manner, with no one aspect of the infusion overpowering any other part of this intricate cocktail.
And finally, the coup de grace – a simple perfume spray of Arak over the drink. A strong-tasting liquor, when perfumed, the Arak gives the cocktail a breezy, fresh scent. Coupled with a garnish of rosemary sprigs and a lime peel, one immediately feels a sense of relaxation as Firme turns into a multi-sensory experience.
It is possible to see the love and the care that Nadav puts into every single Firme he makes, and it is this emotional and deep personal connection to the drink which gives it so much of its appeal. With his steadfastness and dedication to the bartending arts, Nadav has created a drink which is perfectly at home on both the Mediterranean beaches of Tel Aviv as well as the Carribean shores of Cuba.