Royal Caribbean International bartender Shekhar Grover at the 2018 USBG Legacy Cocktail Competition, sponsored by Bacardi

Royal Caribbean Bartender Wins Bacardi Cruise Competition

Cruise News – Feb. 7, 2018

The North American Finals of the 2018 USBG Legacy Cocktail Competition, sponsored by Bacardi, was held in Miami last night to determine which bartenders in the Cruise, United States, and Canada divisions will go on to compete in the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition Global Finals, which will be held in Mexico City in May.

The annual competition challenges bartenders around the world to create an original crafted cocktail recipe using Bacardi products, innovative ingredients and garnishes, and creative presentations and background stories.

“It’s a very global nature in what these bartenders do,” said Zachary Sulkes, International Key Account Manager, Cruise, for Bacardi Global Travel Retail. “So it’s not necessarily just their individual countries they’re representing, but they’re representing the cruise lines that they work for.”

The three competing cruise line finalists were:

Andrej Malic from Celebrity Cruises, who created the Paloma Rica (Bacardi Reserva Ocho rum, pink grapefruit juice, lime juice, agave syrup, and chocolate mole bitters), which is a modern twist on the classic Paloma cocktail. Malic said he was inspired when he visited the Bacardi Factory in Puerto Rico and was moved by the island, its rich flavors, and the aromas of Bacardi 8.

Ed Eiswirth, Royal Caribbean International’s Director of Beverage Operations (left) and Naomi Hettema-Celaire, Manager of Beverage Operations (right) with Shekhar Grover

Dayonel Dueñas of Carnival Cruise Line created the Mamita Chula (Bacardi Superior rum, orange liqueur, apple-cider syrup, lime juice, and carrot juice), saying it was inspired by his mother, who valued strong family ties and the importance of flavors when it comes to creating a unique family legacy.

Shekhar Grover of Royal Caribbean International mixed up The Royal Legacy (Bacardi Reserva Ocho rum, sweet vermouth, vermouth bianco infused with dates, chocolate bitters, and plum bitters), explaining that the cocktail enhances the blend of Bacardi 8 and preserves its royalty.

In the end, it was Grover who most wowed the judges, and was named the winner of the Bacardi Legacy Cruise Competion.

Good luck in Mexico!

Photos: Jodi Ornstein

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