Bartender Adam Dow, Ivy Head of Bars at Merivale, was judged one of the world’s top three at the Global Bacardi Legacy Grand Final this week.
The Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition is one of the world’s largest cocktail competitions and receives thousands of entries each year. As finalists prepared to bring their original BACARDÍ Legacy cocktails to the world in Miami in May 2020, the week-long event could not go ahead due the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen the hospitality industry largely shuttered in many areas across the globe.
Bacardi announced in March their intention to reschedule the event, with eight bartenders selected as Grand Finalists to present via video their unique ‘Legacy’ cocktails to a panel of judges in London.
Ago Perrone (Director of Mixology in London’s Connaught Hotel Bar); Sandrae Lawrence (co-founder of The Cocktail Lovers); Ian Burrell (Global Rum Ambassador) and Monica Berg (co-owner of London bar Tayēr + Elementary) tasted their drinks as they watched their presentations, to deliver their ultimate decision.
In recognition of the uniquely challenging year the bar industry has faced, BACARDÍ decided to offer all competitors the opportunity to secure a US$5000 El Coco grant, in addition to competing for the global title. The grant funds each bartender, giving them time to devise and develop a project or enterprise that supports the industry’s recovery from the pandemic.
Staying true to the El Coco Grant’s purpose, Dow has set aside AUD$1000 to go toward his own grant, The Golden Rule.
The Golden Rule Grant aims to not only help fund applicant’s professional development to further their career in hospitality, but to help bridge the gender gap in the Australian hospitality industry. Anyone who identifies as female can apply.
“The hospitality industry has given me some wonderful opportunities, all of which I worked hard for, but I acknowledge my privilege as a white, middle-class male has handed me a head start in my career,” said Dow. “I believe it is my obligation to acknowledge this privilege and work to actively bridge the gender gap that exits in the industry.
“Bridging the gap for gender equality is therefore an important part of my Legacy, not just for now but for years to come.”
Thailand becomes first-ever market to retain top title for a second year
The Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition 2021 was won by Praphakorn Konglee from Thailand.
Praphakorn works as a bartender at Find the Locker Room bar in Bangkok and makes history tonight as he is the first Bacardi Legacy competitor to retain the title for a competing nation. Thailand won the title in 2019 with Ronnaporn Kanivichaporn’s Pink Me Up; a win that inspired Praphakorn.
“Bringing this title to Thailand for a second year is just amazing,” said Praphakorn. “I’m celebrating here now with my family and am so excited for all the opportunities ahead of me with Bacardi, which will allow me to improve as a bartender and make my family proud. It has been such a difficult year, but I am so grateful that we have all been able to complete our Legacy journey together – even though miles apart – tonight.
“What I loved most about the winning drink was that it was very surprising, and yet also very familiar,” said Grand Final judge Monica Berg. “I loved how Praphakorn connected the ingredients of the drink to his own personal journey, and that this journey was also something we could all relate to. This cocktail is not only a great expression of where he comes from, but also a celebration of the new directions that he will take.”
Praphakorn’s cocktail, Out of Sight, combined a delicate combination of BACARDÍ Carta Blanca rum, fresh pineapple, fresh basil, yoghurt, lemon and agave and was inspired by his journey toward fatherhood and the profound personal transformation it brought about. His presentation to the judges spoke of his development as a bartender as he learned to strive for excellence and take pride in his craft; a progression that culminated this evening on the global stage as his drink was awarded the ultimate accolade by a prestigious team of judges.
“Congratulations to Praphakorn for bringing such a beautiful, delicious, and balanced drink to the global stage,” said Dickie Cullimore, Global Brand Ambassador, Bacardi rum.
“It’s actually very emotional tonight for us to be announcing him as our winner after the roller coaster of the last few months. This year, I think more than any other, we’ve been so privileged to collaborate with 39 exceptional bartenders who have worked so hard to develop and promote their unique Legacy cocktails in such challenging circumstances. The way these people have encouraged, supported, and celebrated one another is what Bacardi Legacy is all about. Each bartender will be forever part of our ‘Gran Familia’ and we can’t wait to tell the world some of the amazing initiatives they have developed
for their industry with their El Coco grants.”