Dayonel Dueñas Gomez, Shekar Grover and Andrej Malic (Images: Bacardi Legacy Global Cruise Cocktail Competition)
Bartenders from Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have been named as the top three contestants from 1,600 entrants in the 13th annual Bacardi Legacy Global Cruise Cocktail Competition.
The competition recognises professional bartending talent in the cruise industry. The three finalists have been selected based on their original Bacardi rum cocktail recipe, created with, Bacardi Carta Blanca, Bacardi Oro, or Bacardi Ocho Años as a base.
The 2017 contestants include Dayonel Dueñas Gomez from Carnival, who has been a bartender for five years and enjoys sharing his passion for mixology and gastronomy in original cocktail recipes for cruise guests.
Shekar Grover from Royal Caribbean is a graduate in hotel and hospitality management. He is fascinated by the art of mixology, especially at sea where he can express his enthusiasm for travelling.
Gomez and Grover will be joined by Andrej Malic from Celebrity, who started bartending in 2008 before joining the cruise line in 2012. He has taken part in many bartending competitions.
“As the Bacardi Legacy Global Cruise Cocktail Competition comes around each year, we are always blown away by the increasing standards of professionalism and the sheer ambition amongst the cruise bartending community to keep developing their craft,” said Zachary Sulkes, international key account manager, Bacardi Global Travel Retail. “Many leading cruise operators share our energy and commitment to this competition as an aspirational benchmark for their bartenders. No other brand or spirits company has engaged more with the cruise industry than Bacardi and we are really proud of how, with these cruise partners, we are collectively recognising and developing up-and-coming talent, which in turn continues to elevate the on-board drinking experience.”
The next stage of the competition sees finalists embark on a three-month promotional campaign to build support for their drink before the cruise finals in Miami in February 2018. The winner will then go on to compete in the global finals in Mexico City in April 2018.