Ronnaporn Kanivichaporn from Bangkok, Thailand, has won the BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail Competition 2019. He is also the first person to win ‘Legacy’ representing a country in Asia.
Triumphing over 42 other competitors, including Jenna Hemsworth from Australia, it was the largest group of finalists to be judged in the global final.
He explained to the audience that he wanted to create a refreshing new take on the classic ‘pick me up’ cocktail category using rum, a spirit not often associated with ‘brunch’ style drinks.
Pink Me Up combines BACARDÍ Carta Blanca rum with fresh muddled tomato, orgeat syrup, lemon juice, olive brine and fresh basil.
“It’s like a dream, I never allowed myself to think this could happen,” said Ronnaporn, “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’.”
“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.”
Thousands of entries were received during the year-long national rounds that brought forty-three exceptional bartenders to Amsterdam for a week of education and competition.
Eight competitors were selected from the 43 finalists 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 BACARDÍ Juan Piñera; Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell; New York bartender and industry mentor Julie Reiner and Amsterdam’s own Eric Van Beek, who won the competition last year.
“It’s just great to see somebody use rum to create something light and refreshing with tomato juice,” said 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.”