Ian Burrell praises standards at Bacardi Legacy

Global rum ambassador Ian Burrell has praised the standard of competition after the opening day of semi-finals of the Bacardi Legacy cocktail competition in Berlin.

Burrell was on the panel of judges who assessed the first 19 contestants and believes the standards have risen since the competition last took place in San Francisco in 2016.

Burrell said: “People have definitely raised their games, I can see a lot of bartenders have tweaked their recipes and gone for things that are quite simple but still slightly exciting.

“There wasn’t much difference between the best and the worst and you can see why they’re all champions of their individual countries, but I think the main difference is the execution and how nervous people were on the stage.”

For the semi-finals, each bartender must prepare two cocktails in seven minutes in front of a live audience and panel of judges from around the world, including 2016 champion Gn Chan.

The competition is hosted by Bacardi to identify the leading bartenders on the planet and the second round of semi-finals will take place on Monday 22 May, with a grand final taking place the following evening.

This year Bacardi has allowed bartenders to use Bacardi Ocho as well as its flagship Carta Blanca Rum within the competition.

Burrell added: “I’ve noticed a lot of people have gone for sherry this year which I imagine has something to do with Bacardi 8 being involved.”

Throughout the week-long event, the bartenders, media and brand ambassadors have been taking part in industry seminars, aimed at helping bartenders prepare for competition.

Day two of the semi-finals will commence on Monday 22 May.