Ronnaporn Kanivichaporn wins 2019 Bacardi LegacyBy Owen Bellwood
Bacardi has crowned Ronnaporn Kanivichaporn the victor in its Legacy Cocktail Competition, making him the first bartender representing an Asian country to win the contest.
Kanivichaporn, from Bangkok, Thailand, triumphed in the final of the contest, which took place at Rode Hoed in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
To claim the title, he created the Pink Me Up with Bacardi Carta Blanca, 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,” Kanivichaporn said.
“Once I got into the top eight 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.’ It’s been amazing this week here in Amsterdam with my fellow competitors and Bacardi – as important as coming away as the winner is the fact that I now have a new family.”
As Kanivichaporn’s prize, Bacardi will offer year-long support to further his career as a bartender. He will also be invited to serve Pink Me Up at some of the world’s best bars.
During the final, Kanivichaporn faced Canada’s Chantelle Gabino, Chile’s Matías Peredo, Greece’s Filippos Tasoulas, Japan’s Hiroyasu Okanuma, Puerto Rico’s Nicole Fas, UAE’s Matthew Wakeford and the UK’s Chelsie Bailey.
Julie Reiner, grand final judge, said: “Ronnaporn’s drink and his performance were both just so original and unique to him.
“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.”
As well as Reiner, this year’s judging panel included maestro de ron Bacardi Juan Piñera; global rum ambassador Ian Burrell; and last year’s Bacardi Legacy champion, Eric Van Beek.