Last week saw 38 of the world’s best bartenders come together in Berlin to compete in the 2017 Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition. After making it through rigorous contests in their home countries, each bartender then traveled to Berlin to make their cocktails for a panel of judges.
The field of 38 was whittled down to eight semi-finalists, and the remaining competitors had to present two cocktails in seven minutes in front of the judges, as well as a live audience.
Three finalists were chosen, and included Ran Van Ongevalle (Belgium), Grace Tsai (Taiwan), and Kentaro Satoh (Japan), who again presented their drinks to an audience and a panel of industry luminaries: Bacardi’s Maestro de Ron, José Sanchez Gavito, renowned Tokyo bartender Hidetsugu Ueno, New York bar owner Julie Reiner, and Gn Chan, last year’s Bacardi Legacy winner.
Once the dust settled, the winning bartender was Ran Van Ongevalle from the Pharmacy in Knokke-Heist, Belgium. His drink, called Clarita, was comprised of Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Años Rum, Amontillado sherry, crème de cacao, absinthe, and saline solution. In addition to the accolades and recognition associated with winning the competition, Bacardi will work with Van Ongevalle over the next year to provide career development opportunities and promote his drink around the world.