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Two Americans Compete in Berlin to Create Bacardi’s Next Legacy Cocktail

May 18, 2017 – For the sixth year Bacardi is holding its annual international competition to find the next legacy cocktail using its famous rum.

Aptly named the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition, winners from 37 countries will gather in Berlin on May 23 for the grand Shake Off, or maybe it’s a Stir Off, to find the next cocktail that will become a legacy in the timeless mold of classic rum based libations such as the Daiquiri or Mai Tai.

There will be 38 contestants from countries as far flung as Argentina to Ukraine and everywhere in between.  This year the United States is sending two representatives, one from each coast.  Challengers from all over the country provided stiff competition and eventually the 12 regional winners came together in Miami last February to duke it out.

Darnell Holguin of New York won with his “It Was All A Dream” cocktail and Ryan Wainwright of Los Angeles won with his “Playa Fortuna” cocktail.  Both men have been bartending for about 13 years.  These are the drinks they’ll be making in Berlin and we’re delighted to share the recipes, below.

Ryan Wainwright’s career got its start quite by accident.  He was working with an event promoter as a DJ when the bartender didn’t show up.  Ryan raised his hand, became fill-in bartender and discovered he loved it.  Determined to expand his knowledge of his new avocation, he pushed himself beyond pouring wine and beer to learn more about the magical chemistry of making a great cocktail.

Winning a contest like Bacardi’s Legacy Global Cocktail Competition is an amazing accomplishment but there is another reason his trip to Berlin will have special significance.  Ryan told us, “My Grandfather was a very prominent scientist in Berlin and he fled for his life before the war. He had to leave everything behind — his community, his family and his work — and start a new life in South Africa. For me to be returning at this level is an experience I’ll never forget. I couldn’t be more proud to land on German soil and be staying in a hotel in the exact same neighborhood my Grandfather lived; literally the north west part of Berlin. I know that when I present my drink he will be with me on Playa Fortuna. It is an honor beyond words to have this kind of an opportunity. “

Ryan can be found working at either The Ponte or Faith and Flower both in the city of Los Angeles.


Darnell Holguin, a Bronx native, credits his mother for introducing him to New York City experiences.  He says, “It’s a major factor in my being who I am and enjoying what I do today.”

After about four years of bartending, Darnell met one of New York’s famous mixologists, Duane Fernandez, Jr. who introduced him to the world of cocktails and the community of bartenders as well as the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) which collaborates with Bacardi on the Legacy Global Cocktail Competition.  Darnell worked behind the bar all over New York City and his regulars followed him wherever he happened to be.  While at Bathtub Gin he was awarded top 10 bartender of New York City by Time out NY.  From there he went on to run the bar program at Fifty Restaurant in the West Village.

On winning a place in the competition’s grand finale in Berlin he said, “I feel truly blessed to have made it this far. For a while I was hesitant about competitions in my career. In fact, it’s competitions like BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition that legitimize it to begin with. It has shown me what I’m truly capable of and how impactful it is to be a part of it. It was always my dream to be the best I can be in this industry, to take part of Global finals in Berlin, I’m learning that that isn’t impossible.


It Was All A Dream

By Darnell Holguin

1.5 parts BACARDĺ Ocho
2 parts Orange Juice
1.5 parts Passion Fruit Condensed Milk*
1.3 parts Averna
0.25 parts Allspice Dram
Mint sprig and orange wheel for garnish

*Combine 355ml passionfruit puree, 355ml of granulated sugar and 240ml evaporated milk

Method:  Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a tin cup with crushed ice. Garnish with an orange wheel and a fresh mint sprig.


Playa Fortuna

By Ryan Wainwright

1.5 parts BACARDÍ Superior
0.75 parts Lime Juice
0.75 Coconut Cordial*
0.25 parts Falernum
4 drops Tartaric Acid**
Edible flower for garnish

*Coconut Cordial: equal parts by weight coconut water and white sugar
**Tartaric Acid: 1 part cream of tartar and 5 parts water

Method:  Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with an edible