What makes a Bacardi Legacy Champion? Past winners share the secrets of their success.
With thanks to
Gn Chan, 2016 Bacardi Legacy Global Champion
Iain Griffiths, 2016 Bacardi Legacy UK Champion
Franck Dedieu, 2015 Bacardi Legacy Global Champion
Barney Toy, 2015 Bacardi Legacy New Zealand Champion
Chris Moore, 2013 Bacardi Legacy UK Champion
Do your research.
“You really need to know what has come before you and what other people have tried to create as their own legacy, so that you can be truly unique.” Iain Griffiths
“One of the best things about BL is the chance to build a community. Get involved in that wherever possible – use it as a chance to travel, meet new people, make new friends.” Iain Griffiths
Showcase your passion.
“With Bacardi Legacy you can step out of your bar to reach out to the bartending community, to showcase yourself, your passion and your recreation to everybody so … just have fun, have the real connection, just go and explore, that’s what life is about, just go and explore all the unknowns.” Gn Chan
“If you see people with a script for their presentation…if that doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. Don’t try and change who you are or how you work as a bartender to fit the competition, just do as many things as you can to make it work for you.” Barney Toy
“Bacardi Legacy is all about creating your legacy and it’s really important you capture the essence of what you are, who you are and what you represent. Trying to tell someone else’s story…means that you won’t be able to deliver it in a way that feels authentic to you.” Chris Moore
“If you can do something people haven’t seen before, if you can create something that’s different, something we haven’t seen before in the competition, it means you will stand out from the rest of the pack.
When I was going through the competition, I had a suit jacket made with the name of my drink on the back. When I was presenting, people didn’t know it was there, at the end of my presentation I used to turn around and reveal it – that meant it left a lasting impression with them, and it was something that stuck and made me stand out from everyone else.” Chris Moore
“Don Facundo was clearly an enigmatic character and his legacy has been told a number of times – so many times that I would say it’s important to look for a story that speaks more truly to yourself, and is intrinsic to the Bacardi brand as well.” Iain Griffiths
Luck favours the prepared.
“I practiced endlessly before I entered the competition, trying to play with textures, caster sugar or using syrup, trying to make sure the balance of the acidity, the level of the fruit coming through in the drink, was right, exactly how I wanted it. If you can practice as much as you can, it will come through when you present and show people your drink and that’s the difference between a 9 out of 10, and a 10 out of 10, and that’s what wins you the competition.” Chris Moore
“Practice it thousands of times, make sure you are aware of the freshness of the ingredients, whether you are going for the Global final or the National final. Do some extra prep. If you have to cook or make a product, cook more. If you have to squeeze juices, squeeze more, and bring extra glassware – you never know what can happen on stage.” Franck Dedieu
“Be prepared for the importance of the event, with all the stunning venues and big parties. You have also got the chance to be judged by legends of the industry, so you need to know what they like, know what they don’t like, and adapt your presentation for the judges and stay focussed.” Franck Dedieu
Know your drink inside and out.
“If you are using a specific ingredient, make it easy for everyone to make that or get hold of that and if they can’t, think about what’s the easiest replacement.” Barney Toy
Have fun with it all!
“This is an experience like no other and you should soak up every moment. Smile, relax where you can and enjoy it for all it’s worth. It sounds like it’s a really long time, a 6 month period, but blink and it’s all over.” Iain Griffiths
“How many times do you get the chance to be on stage and tell people what you do and what you love? It’s a real privilege and an honour to be part of the competition and get the chance to communicate to people, speak to them and tell them what you do, so enjoy it. It’s what you do every single day behind the bar; this is just a bigger stage with really important guests. Chris Moore
“Definitely be careful about using all juices, because everywhere is so different – the fruits, the climate, everything. So if you have a lot of juices in your drink, and you want the better consistency, I would say more liqueur would be better. They are easier to control for consistency as they are the same quality. Gn Chan
Turn up to win.
“Turn up to win - from how you dress, to how you present yourself throughout the entire competition. You will get a lot of attention doing Bacardi Legacy, and you need to make sure it’s all good, positive attention, so always dress sharp, but again, if you don’t wear a suit behind the bar, you don’t need to wear a suit for Bacardi Legacy. I never wear a suit and shaking a cocktail in a blazer is pretty difficult for me. Go in there, comfortable, ready to win. Barney Toy
“You only have 7 actual minutes of presentation. It’s not long so make it good and make every second count. Stay calm, stay focused, don’t waste time on any extra tricks that are going to waste your energy, and add stress to the whole performance, connect with the judges and do your thing.” Franck Dedieu
Make it easy for people to get involved.
“I did all of my campaign without leaving New Zealand and it’s just a case of, when you design your legacy or cocktail or ask people to make your drink for you, if it’s easy enough for people to do, they will. My drink ended up in multiple countries around the world. It made its rounds, and it’s all because of how you ask people to make your drink. The messages that stand out for me are personal ones, like handwritten letters, or care packages…something that stands out rather than a facebook message or a text or an email.
Remember that you’re not doing a business transaction with someone, you’re a bartender talking to another bartender, asking them to do you a favour. It’s a big ask for someone to make a syrup from scratch or get a product they don’t have in their bar, or list a cocktail on their menu, so when they do, it’s an honour.” Barney Toy
Don’t let the competition overwhelm you.
“It gets pretty daunting, it gets pretty kind of intense, but it’s the best competition I have ever been a part of. You don’t have to do big things everyday, you don’t have to do crazy events all the time; if you just do a small bit 2 or 3 times a week, your legacy will build itself, your campaign takes on a life of its own, and it’s really enjoyable to watch. It’s really enjoyable to be a part of.” Barney Toy
“Go for it with all that you have. You will only get out of this competition what you put in, so know that every moment you can spend developing your story, working on your presentation, reaching new people with your marketing campaign, is a chance to not only grow your legacy but grow who you are as a bartender, and as a professional. “Iain Griffiths