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Bacardi Cocktail Competition Winners & Their Recipes

March 8, 2020 – We’re always thrilled to hear about the latest winners of the Annual Tales of the Cocktail Foundation LEGACY Cocktail Competition that Bacardi has been sponsoring for 10 years.  Having watched competitors create and present amazing cocktails under really stressful conditions, we’re huge fans of all who make it to the finals.  Not only are they judged on taste and creativity but their ability as presenters.

This year the finals were in Puerto Rico where East and West Coast winners were selected from the 16 U.S. finalists.  Tsunetaka Imada of New York City and Taylor Cloyes of Los Angeles triumphed after month of preparation.  They will have the opportunity to represent the U.S.A. and compete at the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition in Miami in May this year.

The Legacy Cocktail competition provides a platform for the best bartenders and drink innovators to share their original creations and stories by creating the next classic rum cocktail.

Tsunetaka Imada won the East Coast title with his Sabor a Mi cocktail made with Bacardi Añejo Cuatro, plum wine, grapefruit juice and cinnamon syrup. Originally from Japan, Imada is a bartender in the heart of the East Village in New York that serves up inventive, exotic cocktails. While creating his winning cocktail, Sabor a Mi, Imada drew inspiration from Japanese culture and “the dream of spring symbolized by cherry blossom.” To him, “it means inclusivity that everyone can live and hope.”

Taylor Cloyes won with her signature cocktail – Maestra made with Bacardi Reserva Ocho, which mixes apple brandy, sweet green apple syrup, lemon juice with an egg white.  Originally from Houston, TX, Taylor came to compete after honing her craft in L.A. at a swanky travel-inspired cocktail bar. For Cloyes, the green apple has always been meaningful as it symbolizes learning. When it came to create the winning cocktail, she drew inspiration from the women and mentors in her life, as well as her peers who inspire her every day, stating “I endeavor to become the caliber of Maestra that mine have been to me.”

The winner of the global competition will receive year-long support to further their career by tailoring experiences to help them meet their professional goals, provide them with opportunities to travel, work with the spirit industry’s best mentors and serve their winning cocktails at the finest bars in the world.


Tsunetaka Imada’s Winning Cocktail

  • 1 ½ parts Bacardi Añejo Cuatro Rum
  • ½ part plum wine
  • 1 part pink grapefruit juice
  • ½ part cinnamon syrup
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 dashes of orange blossom water
  • Garnish: umeboshi


Taylor Cloye’s Winning Cocktail

  • 1 ½ parts Bacardi Reserva Ocho Rum
  • ½ part Laird’s Apple Brandy
  • ¾ lemon juice
  • ¾ green apple syrup
  • ¾ soda water
  • 1 egg white