By Stefanie Collins, editor b&c

While Australia’s Andrew Bennett impressed the judges and secured a top eight position, the USA’s competitor took home the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition crown at the Global Final, which was held in San Francisco.

Gn Chan (below), who works at Angel’s Share, New York, won the global competition from a field of 36 countries (and one cruise ship), with his cocktail inspired by the Piña Colada.

The Venceremos features Bacardí Carta Blanca, coconut liqueur, pineapple juice, cucumber juice, lime juice and a dash of sesame oil, with the drink beating out the field of 36 other original drinks in front of 150 guests at Bentley Reserve in San Francisco, California.

Australia was represented on the global cocktail stage by Bennet with his cocktail The Seventh Art. Bennet secured a spot in the grand final with an impressive top eight finish, following in the footsteps of Fred Siggins and his memorable top three result in 2014.

Chan is the eighth person to win the Bacardí Legacy Global Cocktail Competition, and was mentored by former champion Shingo Gokan, who won the title in 2012, and who is now the beverage director at Angel’s Share where Chan works.

Judge Dale de Groff declared the result a unanimous decision, saying that the winning cocktail was “compelling”.

“The pineapple flavour is very delicate, and then there is cucumber juice which worked really well with a touch of sesame oil,” de Groff said. “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 Bacardí family which has endured through adversity.”

As for Chan, he expressed his shock and delight.  

“Right now it doesn’t feel like this is real, but hopefully it will sink in by the morning,” he said. “I have been mentored by a bartender and in a bar that both have a deep relationship with Bacardí, so this has always been the competition I wanted to win.”

The Bacardi Legacy competition is now in its eighth year, with thousands of entries from 45 countries received during the year-long national rounds that culminated in the global final.

Bacardí will now work with Chan over the next year to provide bespoke opportunities and support for his career development, help 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.

The two runners-up in the final were Moe Aljaff from Norway and Lizaveta Molyavka from Belarus.

The Venceremos by Gn Chan

1-1/2 parts Bacardí Carta Blanca

1/2 part Coconut liqueur

5/6 part Pineapple juice

1/2 part Cucumber Juice

1/6 part Lime juice

1 Dash sesame oil

Method: Shake and strain.

Glassware: Hurricane or rocks glass

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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