The Ultimate Cocktail Award is a Legacy Earned

by James Stevenson

The Bacardi Legacy competition was during April this year in San Francisco, hosting bartenders from 36 countries to compete for the number one legacy spot. The event is based around the competition but the dinners, parties, and events all over San Francisco really made this event shine for me. The contestants from around the globe do everything in their control to create something that will not only taste and look good but has the ability to be created in any bar, leaving behind a legacy.

Beautiful Booze had the pleasure of attending the events as media to witness who would come out victorious and if you followed me on Instagram or Snapchat you would have seen my live feed of everything that was happening over the course of the weekend. Here are some snippets of my journey for this fun-filled weekend.

Day 1: Friday

Arriving with minutes to spare before the first competitors’ performance, this was my first time in attendance of the Bacardi Legacy Event so I was unsure of what to expect. Each participant was presented before us to create his or her Bacardi Legacy cocktail along with an inspirational video they had personally produced. These videos were awesome and you could really see all the hard work that each competitor puts into creating their legacy through his or her cocktail.

These videos are designed to show the bartenders dedication to building his or her legacy for their cocktail, not only helping promote themselves as bartenders but also crafting a lasting legacy for other people to remember when tasting their cocktail anywhere in the world or visiting the bar that they work with. Hearing the inspirational story behind each of these cocktails was breathtaking while the bartenders took you on their journey to building a Legacy. Some of these bartenders have braved everything and worked incredibly hard to continue working in this industry. As the day was winding down and day 1 of the competition was over we attended a family dinner at One Market Restaurant where we tasted delicious cuisine and had the pleasure of imbibing on several Bacardi Cocktails to celebrate the commencement of the competition.

Day 2: Saturday

Saturday started off right, with the remainder of the competitors stepping up to the stage to prepare their Bacardi Legacy cocktails. With the semi-finals over with we all made our way to Folsom Street Foundry; a beautiful venue for dinner and cocktails. While enjoying the amazing food, announcements were made and we celebrated the eight finalists while sipping on the best Bacardi cocktails.

Day 3: Sunday

Sunday was a fun day for the media team, incorporating awesome activities all around San Francisco. The day began with a boozy bus tour with live commentary filled with entertaining current and historical facts from local journalist Camper English.

This tour encompassed all of San Francisco, taking in the sights and listening to Captain Camper’s exceptional insight into the evolving bar scene. Making our way across the Golden Gate Bridge to take in the vista from the other side of the river then back over to Dolores Park to enjoy some Californian burritos for lunch.

Once back at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel where the event was based I had the pleasure of interviewing Dale De Groff and Enrique Comas; two individuals that have helped shape our industry in very different ways.

Check out their interviews in this article.

The Grand Final was held later in the evening and each of the remaining eight contestants presented their cocktail for the last time for a panel of judges. After deliberations and point were tallied the crowd lit us as the 2016 Bacardi Legacy winner Gn Chan from the USA was crowned for his Venceremos cocktail. The celebrations went late into the evening as the competitors had done all they could and it was now time to unwind.

Day 4: Monday

Celebrations continued into Monday and included many fun events for media and attendees alike. I was lucky enough to get a behind the scenes peek of the Media Round Table “Fueling the Hustle”. Zach Pentel from Spotify lead this roundtable with DJs Walshy and Jillionaire of Major Lazer, Ivy Mix the owner of Leyenda in Brooklyn, and Steve Schneider co-owner of the legendary bar Employees Only, about music, cocktails, passion and the hustle at the BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition.

This weekend of fun activities and serious competitions was bound to end at some point though, in true fashion, the 2016 Bacardi Legacy went out in a blaze, at Firehouse 8 a transformed firehouse. To ensure the music was up to par Bacardi invited DJs Walshy and Jillionaire of Major Lazer who kept the vibe electric throughout the night.

This celebration included beautiful Bacardi cocktails, snacks, and of course dessert. A great party like this was the perfect way to celebrate and send off everyone from an epic weekend at the 2016 Bacardi Legacy Competition. Not only did these competitors get to share their legacy with the world they also left as recognized members of the Bacardi Family.

Stay tuned to the 2017 Bacardi Legacy Competition being held in Berlin!

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