On 18 February, Bacardi Global Travel Retail launched the 2014 Bacardi Cruise Competition – the ninth staging of one of the cruise industry’s largest and most challenging programmes to feature the skills and creativity of bartenders onboard cruise and ferry lines.
This year’s competition is entirely devoted to the ‘Inspired Cocktail’ and focuses on the skills of bartenders and their creativity in using the Bacardi family of brands, including Grey Goose vodkas, Bombay Sapphire gins and Dewar’s blended Scotch whisky, to develop their own signature cocktails. Their challenge is to reflect how travel has inspired their personal style of cocktail making.
In September, the winner will be crowned 2014 Bacardi Cruise Competition Bartender of the Year at the finals in Miami, US, and will be awarded a personal prize of US$5000 and further opportunities from Bacardi where he/she will be invited to attend a range of events and brand experiences to aid their professional development.
“The art of the cocktail is the ultimate creative expression of our brands – it’s also an integral element of Bacardi’s remarkable history – and we are delighted to bring an elevated focus to the professionalism of the bartender,” says Zachary Sulkes, regional manager of Bacardi Travel Retail Americas. “Each year the standard goes from strength to strength and we see this as a key indicator of the continual improvement in the onboard guest experience. The world-class calibre of entrants raises the bar for the levels of professionalism expected onboard and focuses on the importance of the bartender as an absolutely key contributor to the guest experience.”
Adri Ford of Carnival Cruise Lines, the winner of the Bacardi Cruise Competition Bartender of the Year in both 2012 and 2013, sees her experience of the competition as life changing. “Winning the Bacardi Cruise Competition has helped me enormously in my professional life,” she says. “I learned more than I ever imagined about the drinks industry; I’ve visited incredible brand locations, participated in seminars and other competitions. Bacardi’s investment has truly elevated me in the industry – I’m a better bartender and also a better person. So to this year's contestants and the ultimate winner I say…remember, the sky’s the limit, take all the advice and opportunity given to you, you'll be amazed how many doors open up for you…the possibilities are endless!”
The competition will be judged by a panel of mixologists, Bacardi Global Brand Ambassadors and cruise industry executives. The finals will be held in Miami where all six finalists will compete to convince the judges that their signature serve has the perfect ingredients for success and to be crowned 2014 Bacardi Cruise Competition Bartender of the Year.