Words by Cécile Fayn
What started this week with 43 bartenders competing during the global Bacardi Legacy Finals, led to a top 16, a top 8, a top 3 and eventually one Bacardi Legacy champion. On 14th May, Ronnaporn Kanivichaporn, co-owner of Backstage bar in Bangkok, Thailand, took home the win.
This year the global finals were hosted in Amsterdam. Forty-three competitors started on Sunday in the semi-finals, where they held their marketing and cocktail presentations at the QO hotel in the south of Amsterdam. After three days of competing, the judges came to a winner. Ronnaporn Kanivichaporn took Eric van Beek's spot as Bacardi Legacy's Global champion with his "Pink me up" cocktail.
"It's like a dream, I never allowed myself to think this could happen," was Ronnaporn's first reaction after hearing about his win. "But once I got into the top 8, I realised that this is a very big thing! I didn't come here tonight with any expectation at all, but instead I thought 'I'm going to share my inspiration with you guys.' It's been amazing this week in Amsterdam with my fellow competitors and Bacardi - as important as coming away as the winner is the fact that I now have a new family."
"I felt like we just walked into his bar and he made that drink for us; in a room full of hundreds of people, to make you feel like you are the only one is such a gift," said judge Julie Reiner.
"It's just so great to see somebody use rum to create something light and refreshing with tomato juice," said Ian Burrel, Global Rum Ambassador and also judge in the competition.
The two runner ups were Nicole Fas, Puerto Rico and Matthew Wakeford from United Arabic Emirates.
Pink me up, by Ronnaporn Kanivichaporn
45 ml Bacardi Carta Blanca rum
1 piece of fresh tomato
5-7 leaves of basil
10 ml orgeat
20 ml lemon juice
5 ml olive brine
Method: Muddle, shake and fine strain
Garnish: Olive & basil