America has retaken the crown.
The cocktail crown, that is, with Gn Chan of New York City being named champion of the 2016 Bacardí Legacy Global Cocktail Competition.
Chan beat out 35 competing bartenders from around the world in the annual contest, which took place last week in San Francisco. The competition seeks a new cocktail, using Bacardí rum, that is capable of leaving its own legacy in bars worldwide. Last year’s winner Franck Dedieu represented France.
Gn Chan (Chia-An Chan) won the 2016 competition with a cocktail inspired by the Piña Colada. His creation Venceremos is made with Bacardí Superior, coconut liqueur, pineapple juice, cucumber juice, lime juice and a dash of sesame oil.
Gn Chan is the eighth person to win the Bacardí Legacy Global Cocktail Competition and the second to have been inspired and mentored by a former champion. Shingo Gokan, who won the title in 2012, offered Gn a job in the same year at a highly respected bar establishment in New York City. Shingo got up on stage to congratulate his protégé after the winner was announced.
Judge Dale de Groff said of the winning drink, “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.”
Said Gn Chan, “Right now it doesn’t feel like this is real, but hopefully it will sink in by the morning. 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.”
Bacardí will work with Gn over the next year to provide bespoke opportunities and support for their 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.
Thousands of entries from 45 countries were received during the year-long national rounds that culminated in the global final.