Eric van Beek from the Netherlands has been announced as global winner of this year’s Bacardí Legacy cocktail competition.
Eric (pictured), who works at Bar TwentySeven in Amsterdam, was one of 34 bartenders from around the world, including the UK, who took part in this week’s international final in Mexico City.
His winning cocktail is the Cariño, combining Bacardí Reserva Ocho rum with Yellow Chartreuse, Greek yoghurt, vanilla syrup and lemon juice. See below for the recipe.
The drink was inspired by the term, “te tengo cariño”, which means to show love and fellowship. He expressed his drink’s story on stage through spoken-word rhyme, saying that “love doesn’t always come from familiar faces, sometimes strangers can take you to higher places”.
After being announced as winner, Eric said: “So, I just won the tenth edition of Bacardí Legacy and it feels absolutely amazing. It’s such an honour now to be one of only 10 people who have won this competition.
“This whole week has been incredible: I’ve met a lot of people, I’ve learnt a lot about myself and collaborated with others. It really has been an insightful week.
“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 only two-and-a-half years, this is the second year running that Eric has competed to represent the Netherlannds in the Bacardí Legacy Cocktail Competition.
The competition seeks new drinks that can sit alongside the “legacy” cocktails made with Bacardí rum such as the Daiquiri and Mojito.
The judges included Alex Kratena, founder of P(OUR) and former head bartender at London’s Artesian bar. He 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 a very complex drink yet very easy drinking.”
Fellow judge Ivy Mix, co-owner of Brooklyn’s Leyenda, added: “For me the drink was so unique, with ingredients that really aren’t that unique, but that beautifully showcased the rum and allowed it to shine through.
“It was meant to win because it is so unusual but super-delicious. In his presentation it was very clear to me that his level of dedication was above and beyond. I think Eric is a real example of what you can do if you truly put your heart and soul into it.”
Britain was represented by Leon Back from Edinburgh bar Panda & Sons with the Queen Street.
The two runners-up in last night’s global final were James Irvine from Australia and Ana Alicia Herrera from Mexico
Cariño by Eric van Beek
50ml Bacardi 8 Años
30ml Greek yogurt
20ml Vanilla syrup 2:1
10ml Lemon juice
5ml Yellow chartreuse
Shake the ingredients and strain into a Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
Full list of global finalists
Australia: James Irvine, Bocado
Austria: Harald Grobl, Wayfarer
Argentina: Juan Ignacio Quijano, Magno
Belgium: Didier Van Den Broeck, Mr Dogma
Brazil: Ernesto Lara Elizondo, El Imigrante
Canada: Sabrina Mailhot, Séquito
Chile: Juan Zambrano, Pana Pana
China: Casper Huang, Robin
Colombia: Gonzalo Marin, Asere
Cruise ships: Shekhar Grover, The Royal Legacy
Cyprus: Constantinos Kazelis, Back in Black
Finland: Henri Halonen, Herencia
France: Jimmy Cassar, L’Aristocrate
Germany: Damien Guichard, Amandita
Greece: Antonis Mantzaridis, Semilla
India: Akhilesh, Eternal Spirit
Ireland: Tony Barry, Hug from Mary
Israel: Irene Benjamin, Back to Basics
Italy: Davide Mitacchione, Adelante
Japan: Akira Abe, Tales of 8
Mexico: Ana Alicia Herrera, Devil Woman
Netherlands: Eric van Beek, Cariño
New Zealand: James Millar, La Familia #2
Norway: Carl Wiman, El Lingüista
Portugal: Rafeal Silva, Equilbrium
Singapore: Sim Sze Wei, Golden Eight
South East Asia/Thailand: Noppasate Hirunwathit, Nostalgia
Spain: Emmanuel Otero, 1300 Millas
Sweden: Carl Marcus Erlandson, Theobroma
Switzerland: Kacper Dylak, Las Raices
UAE: Marco Corallo, Superhero
UK: Leon Back, Queen Street Cocktail
USA/Washington: DC French Scott Marshall Coki Beach
USA/Boston: Moe Isaza Poderoso