USBG Legacy Cocktail Competition Announces 2017 U.S. Winners

The United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) has announced Darnell Holguin (above, left) and Ryan Wainwright (right) as the two national finalists for the sixth annual USBG Legacy Cocktail Showcase.

Holguin of New York City, and Wainwright of Los Angeles, both duked it out with 10 other contestants from around the country  in the national final in Miami, FL, on Feb 13, sponsored by Bacardí.

These dozen bartenders were tasked with creating the next classic rum cocktail. Darnell won with his “It Was All A Dream,” and Ryan Wainwright won with his “Playa Fortuna.”

The two national finalist will now travel to Berlin in May to share their creations on the global stage as U.S. representatives in the Legacy Global Cocktail Competition.

The USBG Legacy Cocktail Competition highlights cocktail innovations and provides a platform for bartenders across the country to share original creations and become a part of Legacy history. Participants are challenged to create the next generation of rum cocktails that will stand the test of time, using Bacardí Superior, Bacardí Gold or Bacardí 8 rums.

it was all a dream 1

It Was All A Dream

Each cocktail is judged on its balance, flavor, quality of ingredients and aesthetic appeal, as well as its enduring popularity and the bartender’s story behind them. These were the two winning recipes in 2017:

It Was All A Dream

By Darnell Holguin

1½ part Bacardi 8 rum
2 part. Orange juice
1½ part House-made passion fruit condensed milk
1⅓ part Averna
¼ part Allspice Dram
Garnish: Mint spring

Playa Fortuna

By Ryan Wainwright

Playa Fortuna 1

Playa Fortuna

1½ part Bacardi Superior rum
¾ part Lime juice
¾ part Coconut syrup
¼ part Falernum
4 drops Hydrated cream of tartar
Garnish: Edible Marigold flower

This year’s USBG National Legacy Cocktail Competition was judged by panel of industry professionals including: Dickie Cullimore, Bacardí global brand ambassador, Tom Walker, the 2014 Legacy global winner and Pamela Wiznitzer, president of the United States Bartenders’ Guild.

The 2017 Bacardí Legacy Global Cocktail Competition will hold its grand finale in Berlin on May 23, where a panel of industry legends will help decide who takes home the coveted global title. Both Holguin and Wainwright will look to repeat the success of last year’s winner, Gn Chan, who also hailed from the U.S.

Kyle Swartz is managing editor of Cheers magazine. Reach him at or at Twitter @kswartzz. Read his recent piece 7 Factors Driving Spirits Sales In 2017.

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