Ran Van Ongevalle from Belgium wins BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition 2017

May 24, 2017

Belgian bartender impresses judges with his cocktail Clarita, to take home life-changing award.

HAMILTON, BERMUDA, 23 May 2017 – The BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition 2017 has been won by Ran Van Ongevalle from Knokke Heist in Belgium. His winning cocktail triumphed in a very closely contested final held at E-Werk in Berlin, Germany tonight.
Ran, who works at ‘The Pharmacy’ bar, won the competition with Clarita – a stirred cocktail with BACARDÍ Gran Reserva 8 Años rum and Amontillado sherry combined with a little crème de cacao, absinthe and saline solution – which beat an incredibly strong field of original drinks created by bartenders from 38 countries. Guests at the final were treated to an exclusive DJ set by none other than Major Lazer’s Jillionaire after the trophy was awarded, and continued to celebrate late into the night.

Ran’s drink was inspired by ‘heritage, family and tradition,’ – a fitting sentiment given that Ran has followed in his father’s footsteps not only as a bartender, but also as a BACARDÍ Legacy competitor. Ran’s decision to choose his father’s profession as his own is true testament to the continued ascent of bartending as an aspirational career. Clarita was created to blend ‘a family of flavours’ in the manner of a Maestro de Ron and in the spirit of a true ‘BACARDÍ Legacy’ cocktail.

“This is just too much to take in,” said Ran, “It feels like I am honouring my family with this win. What an amazing week we have all had together; winning the final now is difficult to take in. This trophy is pretty heavy to hold, but I’m not putting it down!”

New York bartender Julie Reiner, one of the judges of the night, said of the winning drink “I’m delighted because this drink was my favourite of the eight in the final. There were some wonderful cocktails in tonight’s final, but Ran’s had an elegance and simplicity that I think is indicative of trends we are seeing currently for beautiful stirred drinks. His use of Amontillado sherry really enhanced the BACARDÍ rum; he has created a dry but well-balanced drink that I would not hesitate to order again and again in a bar. I also found Ran’s performance on stage tonight totally captivating – he just crushed it!”

Now in its ninth year, the BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition stands as the world’s largest single brand cocktail competition. Thousands of entries were received during the year-long national rounds that brought thirty eight exceptional bartenders to Berlin, and eight of them to tonight’s global final. Over the last eight years the BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition has given birth to several modern classics such as The Mulato Daisy, The Knight Cup, Maid in Cuba and Venceremos by Gn Chan, last year’s winner – all of which can now be found in bars across the world.

As Ran’s prize, BACARDÍ will offer year-long support to further his career as a bartender by creating experiences tailored to meet his career goals, gain worldwide recognition for his drink and provide a platform from which he will serve Clarita at some of the finest bars in the world.

The BACARDÍ LEGACY Global Cocktail Competition aims to nurture the careers of all of its finalists and this year’s competition week in Berlin was no exception. In the days leading up to the grand final, BACARDÍ hosted the elite group of 38 talented bartenders from around the world for a week of education and competition, during which they rubbed shoulders with some of the true legends of the bartending world at some of the city’s finest venues and night spots.

Each finalist has spent several months perfecting and promoting their ‘Legacy’ cocktail – featuring either BACARDÍ Carta Blanca rum, BACARDÍ Carta Oro rum or, for the first time this year, BACARDÍ Gran Reserva 8 Años rum – in the hope it would be declared worthy to stand shoulder to shoulder with BACARDÍ classics such as the Authentic BACARDÍ Mojito, the Original BACARDÍ Daiquirí and the Original BACARDÍ Cuba Libre.

The finalists experienced a range of educational workshops, delivered by leaders of the drinks industry, each devised to hone their skills before they presented their own original interpretation of a modern BACARDÍ Legacy cocktail in the competition. Eight competitors were selected to go through to the Grand Final and present their drink in front of an audience of invited guests and a judging panel representing some of the most influential names in the international bartending and spirits community: Maestro de Ron BACARDÍ José Sanchez Gavito; renowned Tokyo bartender Hidetsugu Ueno; New York bartender and industry mentor Julie Reiner and Gn Chan, who won the competition last year.
Dickie Cullimore, BACARDÍ Global Brand Ambassador, said of the winner, “Ran brought an irresistible offer to the Grand Final tonight: a delicious drink, a very impressive campaign in which he has promoted it for several months and a stellar performance on stage. We are excited to be bringing Clarita to the world stage now as the next BACARDÍ Legacy cocktail.”

WINNER – The BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition 2017

by Ran Van Ongevalle

2 parts BACARDÍ Gran Reserva 8 Años rum 1/3 part Amontillado sherry
1 Bar-spoon crème de cacao
2 Dashes absinthe
1 Dash saline solution
3 drops of olive oil.

The two runners up in tonight’s final were Grace Tsai from Taiwan with her cocktail Apóstol and Kentaro Satoh from Japan with his cocktail Mariel.

The following 38 finalists took part in the competition and eight (in bold) were selected by a judging panel to go through to the grand final tonight:

Argentina, Ludovico De Biaggi, Tropical Lady
Australia, Dave Kerr, The Viento
Austria, Kenny Klein, Curiosity
Belarus, Anton Martaplias, Simple Punch
Belgium, Ran Van Ongevalle, Clarita
Canada, Matt Boyle, The Ocho Watchman
China, Alan Fang, Out to Sea
Cruise Ships, Wade Cleophas, Legend Reviver
Denmark, António Saldanha de Oliveira, El Osequio (The Gift)
Finland, Eetu Topo, The Rum Pickle
France, Nicolas Munoz, Let’s Go Bananas
Germany, Christoph Henkel, Chapeau
Taiwan, Grace Tsai, Apóstol
Greece, Loreta Toska, Look for the Silver Lining
Hungary, Péter Gózon, Sin Limites
India, Pawan Singh Rawat, The Moment
Ireland, Conor Myers, Electric Avenue
Israel, Noam Sharet, Madame Lily
Italy, Maurizio La Spina, Elexir Tropical
Japan, Kentaro Satoh, Mariel
Mexico, Jorge Landeros, Unión
Netherlands, Vitalijs Aleksejevs, Big Fish
New Zealand, Darren Miley, Admiral’s Salute
Norway, Ingrid Skaue Øines, Cuban Pete
Philippines, Orman Bag-ao, Rain or Shine
Poland, Grzegorz Nowicki, Celebration
Portugal, Sandro Pimenta, Flight 1862
Russia, Max Ivaschenko, Solaris
Singapore, Davide Boncimino, Marshall
Spain, Matias Iriarte, El Luchador
Sweden, Kaitlin Wilkes, Gonzo, Memento
Switzerland, Martin Bornemann
Thailand, Hideyuki Saito, La Blanca
Turkey, Osman Fethí Baycan, efe
UK, Jo Harper, Pilar
Ukraine, Dmytro Kolomiiets, Something Tasty
USA East, Darnell Holguin, It was all a Dream
USA West, Ryan Wainwright, Playa Fortuna

BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition coming to Mexico City in 2018:
In 2018, the BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition will travel to Mexico City; the Latin metropolis fast becoming renowned as a cocktail capital. We are excited to bring the world’s best bartenders to this incredible city and to bring exceptional educational experiences with globally renowned bar legends to Mexico’s bartending community.
Bringing the Grand Final to South America for the first time is a tremendous way for BACARDÍ Legacy to commemorate its tenth year, embracing and celebrating the very strong association BACARDÍ rum has with Mexico and the Latin American culture and spirit.

Photography of the week-long event is available to download from the BACARDÍ Media Centre – www.bacardimediacentre.com
For more information, please contact: Michelle Ruddenklau at LAB5 tel: +44 (0)7896 666769, email: michelle@lab5experience.com

About BACARDÍ Rum – The World’s Most Awarded Rum
In 1862, in the city of Santiago de Cuba, founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó revolutionized the spirits industry when he created a light-bodied rum with a particularly smooth taste – BACARDÍ. The unique taste of BACARDÍ rum inspired cocktail pioneers to invent some of the world’s most famous recipes including the BACARDÍ Mojito, the BACARDÍ Daiquirí, the BACARDÍ Cuba Libre, the BACARDÍ Piña Colada and the BACARDÍ Presidente. BACARDÍ rum is the world’s most awarded spirit, with more than 674 awards for quality, taste and innovation. Today, BACARDÍ rum is made mainly in Puerto Rico where it is crafted to ensure the taste remains the same today as it did when it was first blended in 1862. http://www.bacardi.com

The BACARDÍ® brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.

About Major Lazer
Major Lazer is an American electronic music trio composed of Diplo, Jillionaire, and Walshy Fire. Founded in 2011, the group’s music spans numerous genres, mixing reggae with dancehall, reggaetón, house and moombahton.
The group has released three full-length albums, “Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do” in 2009, “Free the Universe” in 2013, and “Peace is the Mission” in 2015, and has been nominated for and won multiple global music honors across multiple categories, including Billboard and American Music Awards. Their global smash hit, “Lean On,” is the most successful independent song of all time at pop radio and was the most-streamed song of 2015.