It’s one of the largest and most prestigious cocktail competitions in the world – pitting bartenders from over 30 nations against one another in a test of showmanship, creativity, marketing, drink creation and sheer hard work.
This year the tenth Bacardi Legacy chose as its home the vibrant and warm Mexico City and last night, in front of an audience of competitors, judges, media and industry guests, Eric Van Beek from The Netherlands was named as the ultimate global winner.
It wasn’t simply a title fought and won in a single night based on a single drink. For the past three days competitors – already national champions from their own countries and in one case of all cruise ship bartenders – have been presenting their marketing campaign and cocktails to two independent judging panels. The night before, the hopeful 32 where narrowed down to 16, and from that a final 8 were chosen to compete in the grand final.
Van Beek’s drink Carino, which used Bacardi Reserva Ocho with yellow chartreuse, Greek yogurt, vanilla syrup and lemon juice, and his performance, which incorporated rhyming rhythmic rhetoric, secured him his place ahead of Australia and Mexico who made up the other competitors in the top three.
Erik Van Beek, from Bar TwentySeven in Amsterdam, said of his drink that ‘Te tango carino’ is a term of love and endearment.
‘It alludes to the love we have for our fellow man, that you are your brother or sister’s keeper,’ he said. ‘Love and support doesn’t always come from familiar faces, sometimes strangers can take you to higher places.’
After the announcement, made by global brand ambassador Dickie Cullmore, and decided by judges Alex Kratena, Ivy Mix, Jose Sanchez Gavito and Ranvan Ongevalle, Van Beek and the rest of the competitors celebrated and danced the night away in Mexico City.