This year’s Bacardi Legacy competition saw 43 finalists representing 49 countries gather in Amsterdam for the ultimate show of a bartender’s skill. During the nearly week-long affair of the final, emotions were running high (no pun intended), cocktails were free-flowing and competitors were determined to make their mark on this prestigious competition.
But all good things must come to an end – and last night, after the top eight finalists prepared their Legacy serves in front of a roaring crowd, Ronnaporn Kanivichaporn of Bangkok’s Backstage Cocktail Bar clinched the title of Bacardi Legacy 2019 champion.
It’s an impressive feat, considering the competition runs over seven months and includes a full promotional campaign in addition to semi-final and final rounds judged by a panel of industry experts.
The grand final judges were certainly not an easy bunch to please, but Ian Burrell, Julie Reiner, Juan Pinera and Bacardi Legacy 2018 champion Eric Van Beek ultimately chose Kanivichaporn for his charismatic presentation and standout cocktail, Pink Me Up.
Kanivichaporn explained the idea behind his drink to Imbibe during the tasting portion of the semi-finals. He noted that among reinvigorating cocktails like the Espresso Martini, Bloody Mary and Corpse Reviver No 2, there are no rum-based serves – so he set out to create one. ‘I don’t like Bloody Marys, so I wanted to create a drink that I would enjoy while making a pick-me-up cocktail that uses rum,’ he said.
He combined Bacardi Carta Blanca with fresh tomato and basil, orgeat, lemon juice and olive brine for a crisp take on the pick-me-up genre of drinks.
After his win, Kanivichaporn and fellow finalists, including the UK’s representative, Chelsie Bailey of Bristol, celebrated their hard work with some well-deserved rest – and maybe just a bit of Amsterdam-style partying…