Last night, the great, the good, the bad and the ugly of the trade braved snowstorms (mild exaggeration), to do their duty and take over Freemasons’ Hall in central London to celebrate the UK final of the Bacardi Legacy competition and 150 years of this iconic brand.
Decked out in their finest, seven competitors from all over the UK took to the stage in turn to present their specially-created Bacardi cocktails and explain the ways that they had been inspired by the legacy of Bacardi. Tensions were running high, not least because the judging panel was made up of genuine industry legends Dale DeGroff, Peter Dorelli, Ago Perrone, Audrey Saunders and Bacardi’s global ambassador David Cordoba.
Performances were incredibly impressive, as we knew they would be, and whilst the judges deliberated the audience seemed in universal agreement that there was next to nothing in it. In the end though, it was Dan Bovey from Sahara in Reading, Chris Moore from The Savoy and Gordon Purnell from The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh who were named as the three Most Promising. The trio are soon to jet off around the world to learn more about the brand, then spend a year (and the marketing budget supplied by Bacardi making as much noise as possible about their drink in order to be crowned the ultimate winner.
Last year’s three Most Promising, Metinee Kongsrivilai from The Bon Vivant’s Companion in Edinburgh, Zdenek Kastanek from Quo Vadis and Jody Monteith from northern cocktail consultancy The Liquorists have been working like crazy for the past 12 months, to drum up support, publicity and menu-listings for their drinks and in the end it was Kastanek who took the crown. His tireless efforts (including this promotional video) ensured that his creation, La Hermosa has been enjoyed by an estimated 50,000 customers worldwide. We would be remiss, however if we neglected to mention the efforts of Kongsrivilai in her campaign: single-handedly ensuring that nobody will ever look at Sean Ware the in same way again…