Belgian bartender Ran Van Ongevalle has taken home the trophy at the BACARDÌ Legacy Global Final in Berlin. Plying his trade at The Pharmacy in Knokke Heist in Belgium, Van Ongevalle battled it out against 37 other bartenders from around the globe including Australia’s Dave Kerr.
The finalists experienced a week long range of educational workshops to one their skills before presenting their signature interpretation of a modern BACARDÍ Legacy cocktail. Eight competitors were selected to go through to the Grand Final and present their drink in front of an audience and the judges.
Van Ongevalle’s creation, Clarita, a stirred cocktail consisting of BACARDÌ Gran Reserva 8 Años rum, Amontillado sherry, crème de cacao, absinthe and saline solution impressed the esteemed judging panel, which featured Maestro de Ron BACARDÌ, Jose Sanchez Gavito, renowned Japanese mixologist Hidetsugu Ueno, New York bartender and industry mentor Julie Reiner and last year’s Global winner, Gn Chan.
The winning cocktail was inspired by “heritage, family and tradition”, fitting given that Ran followed in his father’s footsteps, not only in becoming a bartender but also a BACARDÌ Legacy competitor. “This is just too much to take in,” said Ran, “It feels like I am honouring my family with this win. What an amazing week we have all had together; winning the final now is difficult to take in. This trophy is pretty heavy to hold, but I’m not putting it down!”
New York bartender Julie Reiner said “His use of Amontillado sherry really enhance the BACARDÍ rum; he has created a dry but well-balanced drink that I would not hesitate to order again and again in a bar. I also found Ran’s performance on stage tonight totally captivating – he just crushed it!”
Dickie Cullimore, BACARDÍ Global Brand Ambassador, said of the winner, “Ran brought an irresistible offer to the Grand Final tonight: a delicious drink, a very impressive campaign in which he has promoted it for several months and a stellar performance on stage. We are excited to be bringing Clarita to the world stage now as the next BACARDÍ Legacy cocktail.”
This was the ninth year of BACARDÍ Legacy, and it stands as the world’s largest single brand cocktail competition. As for the prize, BACARDÍ will offer Ran year-long support to further his career as a bartender by creating experiences which are tailored to meet his career goals and in the process gain worldwide recognition for his drink, and provide a platform where he will serve Clarita at some of the world’s finest establishments.