The Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition 2019 has been won by Ronnaporn Kanivichaporn from Bangkok, Thailand.
His winning cocktail – Pink Me Up – triumphed over a field of 42 outstanding drinks, the largest ever to be judged in the global final, as the top eight finalists competed at Rode Hoed in the centre of Amsterdam.
Ronnaporn is the co-owner of Backstage Cocktail Bar, Bangkok and the first person to win ‘Legacy’ representing a country in Asia.
He explained to the audience that he wanted to create a refreshing new take on the classic ‘pick me up’ cocktail category using rum, a spirit not often associated with ‘brunch’ style drinks.
Pink Me Up combines BACARDÍ Carta Blanca rum with fresh muddled tomato, orgeat syrup, lemon juice, olive brine and fresh basil.
“It’s like a dream, I never allowed myself to think this could happen,” said Ronnaporn of 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 here 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.”
“Ronnaporn’s drink and his performance were both just so original and unique to him,” said Julie Reiner, Grand Final judge. “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. The drink itself was just so delicious, I can see it being consumed everywhere; it’s a daytime drink and it can also be an evening drink, it was just so well balanced and really tasty.”
“It’s just great to see somebody use rum to create something light and refreshing with tomato juice,” said Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador, who also judged the competition. “Ronnaporn has managed to combine and create a flavor profile that, even someone like myself who doesn’t go for savory drinks, would enjoy and would recommend to somebody. For me it’s one of those drinks that, in the future, somebody would order as an alternative to a Bloody Mary.”
The two runners up in the final were Matthew Wakeford from United Arab Emirates and Nicole Fas from Puerto Rico.
Aussie Jenna Hemsworth makes it to the top 16
Jenna Hemsworth – who is based at Sydney’s Restaurant Hubert – won the Australian final of Bacardi Legacy in February.
She has spent the past few days competing in the global final in Amsterdam.
According to Bacardi’s Penny Sippe, Jenna “did herself and Australia proud” in the semi final, presenting her drink The Monach, a mix of BACARDÍ Carta Blanca, Dom Benedictine, mandarin juice, lime juice and basil.