Bacardi Global Travel Retail has launched its 2015 Cruise Bartender of the Year competition.
The annual competition, which is now in its tenth year, aims to find the best bartender on the high seas, as part of the Bacardi strategy to help raise standards of professionalism and cocktail-making in the industry.
The competition opened on 19 November and invites all bartenders on cruise and ferry lines around the globe to enter.
As in previous years, participants are required to create their own expertly crafted and unique, inspired cocktail recipes using at least one spirit from the Bacardi rum portfolio. They must demonstrate how that personal creation is inspired by their love of travel, as well as the flavours, people and places they have experienced on their journeys, including the interactions with guests they meet in the onboard bars.
This year, the contest is a one-stage competition where all entrants stand the chance to make the finals based on the quality of their recipes. Entries close on 12 January 2015 and the five finalists will be announced seven days later. The finals will take place later in the year in Miami on 18-20 March.
“With ever more sophisticated vessels launching each year and with many of these ‘super-ships’ offering up to 30 bars and restaurants as a major focus of the guest experience, we’re actively seeking to work with more cruise operators who share our vision to guarantee great cocktail experiences and to develop the mixology and presentation skills of the onboard bartender through initiatives such as the Bacardi Cruise Competition,” said Zachary Sulkes, regional manager of Bacardi Travel Retail Americas. “By helping the cruise lines and the ambitious onboard bar-tending community to enhance their craft, we can really create a sustained category driving strategy that wins all round.”
The winner will receive a US$5,000 cash prize and a Bacardi experience, specifically selected to further the recipient’s craft and knowledge base.
This year, out of almost 2,000 entrants, the top prize went to Europe for the first time, with Liisi Kütt, representing Tallink Silja Line, beating the competition with her ‘Summer Fairy’ cocktail – a blend of Bacardí Grand Melon, Martini Prosecco, apple juice, fresh lime juice and syrup.