Bartender takes home trophy as Venceremos is declared the Bacardi 2016 ‘Legacy’ cocktail.
San Francisco - The Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition 2016 concluded in dramatic style with Gn Chan from the United States taking home the coveted title. Gn Chan (Chia-An Chan) won the competition with a cocktail inspired by the Piña Colada. Venceremos – made with Bacardi Superior, coconut liqueur, pineapple juice, cucumber juice, lime juice and a dash of sesame oil - beat an incredibly strong field of original drinks created by bartenders from 36 countries, in a very tight final held in front of 150 guests in San Francisco, California.
Gn Chan is the eighth person to win the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition and the second to have been inspired and mentored by a former champion. Shingo Gokan, who won the title in 2012, offered Gn a job in the same year at a highly respected bar establishment in New York City. It was an emotional moment when Shingo got up on stage to congratulate his protégé and another legacy created by this prestigious competition was born.
Judge Dale de Groff said of the winning drink, “It was a unanimous decision tonight to name Gn Chan the winner. The drink he made was compelling to him and to us because he took the Piña Colada as a base; a Bacardi drink and a Puerto Rican invention; but this was a version of the Piña Colada only in spirit. The pineapple flavour is very delicate, and then there is cucumber juice which worked really well with a touch of sesame oil. The name Venceremos, which is Spanish for ‘we will overcome,’ worked with Gn’s own personal story of how he overcame challenges in his life to go on to work in one of the world’s most elegant bars, and that of the Bacardi family which has endured through adversity.”
“Right now it doesn’t feel like this is real, but hopefully it will sink in by the morning,” said Gn Chan. “I have been mentored by a bartender and in a bar that both have a deep relationship with Bacardi, so this has always been the competition I wanted to win.”
Now in its eighth year, the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition continues to grow in scale and status as one of the world’s most prestigious cocktail competitions. Thousands of entries from forty five countries were received during the year-long national rounds that culminated in tonight’s global final. Over the last seven years the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition has given birth to several modern classics, most recently last year’s winning cocktail Le Latin, by Franck Dedieu, which can now be found in bars across the world.
Bacardi will work with Gn over the next year to provide bespoke opportunities and support for their career development, gain worldwide recognition for his drink and provide a platform from which he will serve Venceremos at some of the finest bars in the world.
Thirty six exceptional bartenders from around the world travelled to San Francisco last week. Each has spent several months hustling to perfect and promote their ‘Legacy’ cocktail in the hope it would be declared worthy to stand shoulder to shoulder with Bacardi classics such as the Authentic Bacardi Mojito, the Original Bacardi Daiquirí and the Original Bacardi Cuba Libre.
Bacardi Global hosted the finalists at a range of educational workshops, delivered by some of the legends of the drinks industry and tailored to hone their skills, before they presented their own original interpretation of a modern Bacardi Legacy cocktail in the competition. Eight competitors were selected to go through to the Grand Final and present their drink in front of an audience of invited guests and a judging panel representing some of the most influential names in the international bartending and spirits community: Maestro de Ron Bacardi José Sanchez Gavito; renowned New York bartender Julie Reiner; Dale De Groff aka ‘King Cocktail’, and Franck Dedieu who won the competition last year.
Dickie Cullimore, Bacardi Global Brand Ambassador, said of the winner: “Gn is a popular and worthy winner tonight; he’s impressed not only with a delicious drink and compelling story, but also with his consistency throughout the competition. Venceremos is a drink that people will enjoy all over the world and has all the makings of a modern classic.”
The two runners up in the final were Moe Aljaff from Norway and Lizaveta Molyavka from Belarus. All thirty six competitors will celebrate the week of education, competition and friendship on Monday, the 25th with a Bacardi House Party, featuring Jillionaire and Walshy Fire of Major Lazer.
WINNER – The Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition 2016
Venceremos - Gn Chan
1½ part Bacardi Superior
½ part coconut liqueur
a part pineapple juice
½ part cucumber juice
a part lime juice
1 dash sesame oil
Method: Shake and strain
Glassware: Hurricane or rocks
Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition coming to Berlin in 2017:
In 2017, the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition will travel to Germany, taking place in Berlin - a city famous for overcoming adversity in much the same way as the Bacardi family. A mecca of cool, with an unmatchable history of creativity and understated style, Berlin promises to provide the perfect backdrop to this iconic competition.
Fabio DiGiammarco, Global Vice President for Bacardi rum says: “We are so excited to announce that we are bringing Bacardi Legacy’s Global Final to the heart of Europe next year, the unique and dynamic city of Berlin. With its untameable spirit and wonderfully diverse and sophisticated bar landscape, I can think of no better backdrop for next year’s finalists to again demonstrate there’s nothing in the way to creating new Bacardi cocktail legacies.“