USA wins Bacardí Legacy global cocktail competition

Gn Chan Bacardi Legacy

Chia-An Chan from Angel’s Share in New York City has been declared champion in this year’s Bacardí Legacy global cocktail competition.

Representing the USA, he impressed judges with his cocktail, Venceremos, at the grand final in San Francisco last night when he competed alongside seven other finalists, including UK winner Iain Griffiths of Dandelyan in London.

Chia-An, or Gn, took inspiration for his drink from classic food pairings in different countries, cucumber and sesame oil, and from classic rum cocktail, the Piña Colada. “Venceremos” means “We shall overcome” in Spanish and represents the Cuban never-give-up attitude. See below for the recipe.

Gn (pictured) was one of 37 winners of national competitions who came together for two days of semi-finals in San Francisco followed by yesterday’s grand final.

Pictured below, Gn and Iain reached the grand final alongside Mitchell Kai Lum from Banyan Tree’s Vertigo Too in Bangkok for Thailand, Andrew Bennett from The Classroom in Perth for Australia, Moe Aljaff from Brooms & Hatchets in Oslo for Norway, Lizaveta Molyavka from News Café in Minsk for Belarus, Bar Shira from Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar in Tel Aviv for Israel, and Choni Song from The Nest in Shanghai for China.

The judges for the grand final were legendary American bartender Dale DeGroff, leading New York City bar owner Julie Reiner, Bacardí’s maestro de ron Jose Sanchez Gavito, and Franck Dedieu from France, winner of the 2015 Bacardí Legacy global cocktail competition.

Dale said: “It was a unanimous decision tonight to name Gn Chan the winner. The drink he made was compelling to him and to us because he took the Piña Colada as a base; a Bacardí drink and a Puerto Rican invention. But this was a version of the Piña Colada only in spirit. The pineapple flavour is very delicate, and then there is cucumber juice which worked really well with a touch of sesame oil.

“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 Bacardi family which has endured through adversity.”

Gn credited Angel’s Share beverage director Shingo Gokan, who won the title in 2012, as his mentor and inspiration. “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,” Gn said.

Gn will now see the Venceremos join Bacardí’s list of “legacy” cocktails alongside the Cuba Libre and the Mojito. Bacardí will work with Gn over the next year to provide bespoke opportunities and support for his career development, 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.

Bacardí global brand ambassador Dickie Cullimore added: “Gn is a popular and worthy winner tonight. He’s impressed not only with a delicious drink and compelling story, but also with his consistency throughout the competition. Venceremos is a drink that people will enjoy all over the world and has all the makings of a modern classic.”

Click here to view Gn’s video to support his cocktail.

Click here for all of Bar magazine’s coverage of this year’s Bacardí Legacy competition including Iain’s winning cocktail.

Bacardi Legacy grand final

Venceremos by Chia-An Chan
45ml Bacardí Carta Blanca
15ml Coconut liqueur
25ml Pineapple juice
15ml Cucumber juice
5ml Lime juice
1 dash Sesame oil
Combine all ingredients and shake. Strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube and garnish with a pineapple leaf.

venceremos cocktail

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