The world’s best bartenders competed for the winning title at the BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail Competition in Amsterdam last week.
How do you define a classic cocktail? BACARDÍ has some ideas.
First, the drink must be simple and easy to replicate in bars and restaurants all over the world. It has to have accessible ingredients, a distinctive taste and unique but universal appeal to become a staple fixture on drinks menus everywhere.
The BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail Competition discovers a cocktail that has the potential to become just that. Each year, mixologists who win their regional heats complete a three month period of promoting their cocktail, before going through to the national finals and then the global finals, which were held in Amsterdam last week.
“In my opinion, a legacy cocktail is one that consumers request after its creation because it captures a special moment in time,” explained Ian Burrell, Gobal Rum Ambassador, founder of the renowned UK Rumfest and judge at the final. “Think Cuba during prohibition, [Daiquiri, Mojito, Cuba Libre]. Think Puerto Rico during the 1950’s [Pina Colada]. BACARDÍ has been an important part of keeping these historical drinks alive with their promotions through recent history, thus not only maintaining their own brand legacy, but creating a new platform for the legacy cocktails of the future.”
As well as discovering a new iconic cocktail, the competition also offers the chance for bartenders to promote their own skills and spotlight their profession, demonstrating what it takes to make it in the niche industry. “Cocktail competitions like BACARDÍ Legacy encourage creativity and promote the craft of the bartender,” highlights Julie Reiner, New York bar owner, accomplished mixologist, mentor and fellow judge at the final. “While the brand pushes knowledge of their products, they also give bartenders from around the world the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from one another. ”
Indeed, last year’s global champion Eric Van Beek also sat on the final judging panel this year, representing BACARDÍ’s commitment to nurturing the talent in its community. “I wanted to be involved as a judge not only because it is tradition to do so. Passing the crown on from one legacy winner to the next. Also, because you become part of not only how the future of the competition to a certain extent is perceived, but also how it changes somebody’s life and future.”
“The highlight for me was realizing from where I came to all the way sitting in the judges seat and having the job to decide who is going to be the next champ!” he adds. This year, the champ in question was Ronnaporn Kanivichaporn from Bangkok, who presented his “Pink Me Up” cocktail featuring tomato, orgeat syrup, lemon juice, olive brine and fresh basil. BACARDÍ will offer year-long support for his career, as well as the chance to serve the drink in bars all over the world.
Entries for next year’s competition will open soon, so keep an eye out and find out more at their website here.