Thailand’s Ronnaporn Kanivichaporn has been crowned the 2019 Bacardi Legacy champion, beating out 42 other bartenders and their drinks with his Pink Me Up cocktail.
Kanivichaporn is the first person to win Legacy representing a country in Asia, with his concoction of Bacardi Carta Blanca rum with fresh muddled tomato, orgeat syrup, lemon juice, olive brine and fresh basil, impressing the judges.
“It’s like a dream, I never allowed myself to think this could happen,” said Kanivichaporn 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,” added Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador, who also judged the competition.
“Ronnaporn has managed to combine and create a flavour profile that, even someone like myself who doesn’t go for savoury 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.”
Australia’s representative in the final, Jenna Hemsworth, did herself and Australia proud making it into the top 16, with her cocktail The Monarch.
As Kanivichaporn’s prize, Bacardi will offer year-long support to further his career as a bartender by “creating experiences tailored to meet his goals, gain worldwide recognition for his drink and provide a platform from which he will serve Pink Me Up at some of the finest bars in the world”.
Dickie Cullimore, Global Ambassador Bacardi rum, said of the week in Amsterdam: “I think in terms of energy level, diversity and spirit we have never hosted a group of bartenders quite like the one this week in Amsterdam; they have been just phenomenal and will leave as one family. We are all in love with Ronnaporn’s Pink Me Up cocktail – which to me feels both incredibly innovative and yet somehow familiar, which is, of course, its genius.”
The two runners up in tonight’s final were Matthew Wakeford from United Arab Emirates and Nicole Fas from Puerto Rico.
Pink Me Up – Recipe
- 2 parts BACARDÍ Carta Blanca rum
- 3-4 pieces fresh tomato
- 5-7 basil leaves
- ½ part orgeat syrup
- 1 part lemon juice
- 1 barspoon olive brine
Method: Muddle & shake
Garnish: Green olive & basil leaf