The BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail Competition was launched in 2008, offering the world’s finest contemporary bartenders an opportunity to showcase their skills and create their own cocktail legacy. It has since established itself as an elite cocktail competition, with a chance for victors to write their own chapter in the enduring history of BACARDÍ.
This year 34 remarkable bartenders traveled abroad to compete for the prestigious title in Sydney, Australia. Before dazzling judges with their own innovative interpretation of a BACARDÍ Legacy cocktail in the semi-final, all contestants were invited to take part in an array of events and master classes hosted at iconic locations around Sydney.
Finalists also engaged in a range of educational workshops, from perfecting their flair skills with the legendary Nicolas St Jean, to familiarizing themselves with the innovative trends set by Melbourne’s ‘Black Pearl.’ All proved to be an invaluable opportunity to get to know the cocktail scene ‘down under’.
For the closely contested grand final event, eight awe-inspiring competitors were selected to present their signature drink to 400 guests and a panel of prominent judges at Sydney’s historic Town Hall.
Representing some of the most influential names in the international bartending and spirits community, judges included Maestro de Ron BACARDÍ, José Sanchez Gavito; renowned New York bartender Steve Schneider; Ago Perrone, winner of the very first BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail Competition and Tom Walker, who won the competition last year.
Commenting on the performance of the competitors who presented in the final round, judge Steve Schneider stated: “I’ve judged a lot of cocktail competitions, but this has by far been the most difficult.”
Only a drink offering perfectly balanced ingredients and a timeless taste – the unique qualities associated with BACARDÍ classics such as the authentic Mojito or the classic Cuba Libre – can be declared a true ‘Legacy’ cocktail.
This year, the honor was awarded to Franck Dedieu, who astonished the judges with his ‘Le Latin’ drink. Dedieu crafted a cocktail inspired by the Latin culture intertwining the history of the BACARDÍ family with his very own. His recipe triumphed over an incredibly strong field of drinks including the eight created by his fellow grand finalists – Jad Ballout (Lebanon), Faye Chen (China), Xaris Darras (Greece), Franck Dedieu (France), Karim Mehdi (Ireland), Barney Toy (New Zealand) and Peter Chua (Singapore).
Judge Ago Perrone said of Dedieu’s winning serve,
“Le Latin is a drink that is fresh and has a good structure – it combines elements of the traditional and classic cocktails, but also brings innovation and a modern touch. It is easy to replicate and can be made worldwide, the essential elements of a true ‘Legacy’ cocktail.
“For me, the drink offers a balanced taste and good freshness in which the notes of BACARDÍ rum come through. The saltiness of the olive brine provides a different texture to the palette and I love the olive in the glass. Franck presented his inspiration for the drink elegantly, politely and powerfully; congratulations to him, he is a deserving winner.”
Dedieu is now the 7th winner of the prominent BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail Competition, with his victory creating it’s own legacy for France as the first country to win the title twice.
In 2011, Marc Bonneton was the first Frenchman to be named BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail champion. Bonneton went on to establish the ‘Redwood’ in Lyon, which is poetically the bar Dedieu works behind.
“I am so excited to win this evening, and to now have this opportunity with BACARDÍ to bring my drink to the world,” said Franck. “It has been the most amazing week. It is wonderful to be taking home the trophy tonight, but I am also taking home so much more in terms of the friendships, knowledge and experiences we have all gained during this week here in Sydney.”
As the winner, Dedieu will see his serve ‘Le Latin’ praised as a new classic BACARDÍ creation.
BACARDÍ will also continue to work closely with Franck over the next year to provide support for his career development in order to ensure that he gains global recognition as the genius behind his signature drink. BACARDÍ will also provide a platform for Dedieu to serve the ‘Le Latin’ at some of the worlds most prominent bars.
“Le Latin is a cocktail that fuses together the elements that we look for in a ‘Legacy’ cocktail,” said BACARDÍ Global Brand Ambassador, Dicki Cullimore.
“It is a drink I could see being made and enjoyed around the world for many years to come. This year Franck has produced something that feels both original, and yet quintessential. It has been more difficult than ever to pick the winner from such a strong field, but in ‘Le Latin’ I think we truly have the makings of a modern classic.”
In 2016, the BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition will travel to the USA, to take place in San Francisco. Home to electric and radical mixology culture, the vibrant city is renowned for its trend-setting, diverse, and highly competitive cocktail scene.
BACARDÍ is thrilled and excited to be bringing next year’s finalists to this iconic location.
The Winning Serve
Franck Dedieu, Representing France
1 part BACARDÍ Carta Blanca
⅔ parts white wine (Viognier preferred)
⅔ parts lemon juice
2 bar-spoons olive brine
2 bar-spoons caster sugar
Shake and strain, garnish with an olive.