By Li-Mei Russell
Australia’s top eight bartenders have been selected to progress to the National Semi-Final in this year’s Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition.
The competitors were judged against set criteria including taste, aroma, innovation and inspiration. BACARDÍ Brand Ambassadors, Loy Catada, Andy Wren and Peter Hollands worked tirelessly to review the Top 30 entries from around the country, making each drink and reviewing the recipe videos submitted by the countries’ leading bartenders.
One of the Ambassadors, Catada, was captivated with the contenders’ professional approach to the competition, saying: “They were very passionate, the drinks were positively delicious, and their preparation and enthusiasm for the competition came across in every entrants video.”
Now in its fifth chapter, BACARDÍ Legacy was established to challenge the best contemporary bartenders in the world to create their own cocktail Legacy – a drink that will stand the test of time and carve themselves a place in the league of Fred Siggins, Alissa Gabriel, Andrew Bennett and Dave Kerr in representing Australia on the international stage.
The Top 8 bartenders who will be advancing to the Semi-Final are:
- Ella Rhodes, Cobbler, QLD
- James Irvine, The Swillhouse Group, NSW
- Leroy Martin-McEwan, The Gresham, QLD
- Matthew Blackburn, Hotel Harry, NSW
- Oliver Churcher, Ramblin’ Rascal, NSW
- Vini Wang, Hains & Co., SA
- Will Krepop, The Palm Royale, VIC
- Zachary Underwood-Mynott, Canvas Club, QLD
The competitors will make their way to Melbourne on 1 November for the National Semi-Final where they will present their Legacy cocktail as well as the original BACARDÍ Daiquiri in front of an independent judging panel. The Semi-Final event will culminate at that evening’s cocktail party where the ‘Top 3 Most Promising’ will be announced.
Those recognised as the ‘Three Most Promising’ will be mentored by dedicated Brand Ambassadors. These aspiring bartenders will partner with BACARDÍ to market and promote their cocktail to help forge their place in the Australian cocktail industry.
The Australian Grand Final will be based on the success of their drink and overall campaign and the results will see one of the ‘Three Most Promising’ awarded as the 2018 BACARDÍ Legacy Australian Cocktail Competition Winner at the national final held in February 2018.
The competitor’s journey will culminate in a global final in Mexico City in April next year when our Australian winner will compete for the ultimate title in the BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition Final.