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Eric Van Beek named 2018 Bacardí Legacy winner

After just two and a half years as a bartender, Eric Van Beek from the Netherlands has been crowned winner of the 2018 Bacardí Legacy Cocktail Competition.

Eric van Beek
Dutch bartender Eric Van Beek has been working in the industry for just two and a half years

During the final, held last night (1 May) at the Museo Numismático Nacional in Mexico City, Van Beek faced fellow bartenders James Irvine from Australia and Ana Alicia Herrera from Mexico. Van Beek battled 34 bartenders from 33 countries for the title.

Van Beek’s winning creation, called Cariño, is a shaken cocktail combining Bacardí Reserva Ocho rum with Yellow Chartreuse, Greek yoghurt, vanilla syrup and lemon juice.

His drink was inspired by a term of love and endearment, “te tengo cariño”, which refers to love and fellowship.

Van Beek said: “So, I just won the 10th edition of Bacardi Legacy and it feels absolutely amazing. It’s such an honour now to be one of only 10 people who have won this competition.

Eric Van Beek
Van Beek triumphed at the competition with his Cariño cocktail

“When they announced I was the winner I was thinking ‘this is a dream come true, this is not happening’. Everybody was mobbing me and shouting ‘Cariño’ – it’s an indescribable moment, but I will cherish it.”

Having been a bartender for just two and half years, this is the second year running that Van Beek has competed to represent his country in the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition.

Alex Kratena, founder of P(our) and one of the judges on the night, said: “Cariño was a winner for obvious reasons; it is a drink which has ingredients we all know but, when combined together, they bring something new, exciting and most importantly delicious.

“I think he has done a great job creating something with a smooth and silky texture that is also refreshing, whilst retaining all the aromatics; it’s very complex yet very easy drinking.”

As Van Beek’s prize, Bacardí will offer year-long support to further his career as a bartender, providing a platform for his cocktail to gain worldwide recognition as he serves it up in bars across the globe.

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