BACARDÍ’s global celebrations marking the 150th Anniversary of Bacardi Rums



Competition Part of BACARDÍ 150TH Anniversary Celebrations

Michael Hepworth


LONDON (Spiritsman) – 2/23/12 – Shingo Gokan from the USA is the winner of the 2012 BACARDÍ Global Legacy Cocktail Competition (BGLCC). Gokan from New York won with his drink ‘Speak Low’. Gokan was chosen from eight finalists from around the world after a spectacular finale which took place at the BACARDÍ distillery near San Juan, Puerto Rico, “this is the best week I’ve ever had, this is the best night I ever had, thank you so much,” said Gokan.

Gokan was the final competitor of the night and he left the audience in tears as he shared his personal story of not being able to return to his friends and family at home in Japan when the earthquake struck in 2011. His drink and its presentation were inspired by his grandmother’s Japanese tea ceremony.

“It was everything about Shingo, the simplicity of the drink, his abilities behind the bar and his emotional connection with the audience, he made us all cry,” said BACARDÍ Global brand ambassador David Cordoba.

Gokan only just completed his cocktail in the allocated ten minutes, his fellow competitors leapt up to help him clear his bar so he wouldn’t be penalized for exceeding the time limit. As part of his prize Gokan will visit the BACARDÍ distillery in Mexico as well as travel to five different countries to present his drink.

The competition was judged by an international panel of the industry’s most influential including two BACARDÍ master blenders, Maestro de Ron, Jose Sanchez Gavito and Maestro de Ron, Luis Planas. They were joined by BACARDÍ Global Brand Ambassador David Cordoba, ‘Ambassador of Aloha’ Stanislav Vdrna and 2011 BGLCC winner, Marc Bonneton of France.

‘Speak Low’, Gokan’s legacy cocktail, will now sit alongside some truly iconic drinks like the Original BACARDÍ Cuba Libre, Original BACARDÍ Daiquirí and the Authentic BACARDÍ Mojito Cocktail.  Winning the BGLCC is the chance of a lifetime for the bartender.  Last year’s winner Marc Bonneton of France understands more than anyone the significance of being the best from thousands of entries, “ it’s a big competition and it means a lot to win,” said Bonneton.

The eight were whittled down from a group of 26 truly talented bartenders who spent the past week in Puerto Rico learning about the history of BACARDÍ rum, visiting the distillery in Cataño where it is crafted, sharing their skills and techniques with fellow mixologists, and learning bartending philosophies and expertise from some of the industry’s most influential tastemakers.

This year’s competition is part of global celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Bacardi and its legendary BACARDÍ rum. Throughout 2012, the family-owned company will commemorate this historical landmark with a series of one-of-a-kind parties and special promotions.

Bacardi Heritage – Celebrating 150 Years

After years of experimenting, Bacardi Don Facundo Bacardí Massó revolutionized the spirits industry with the smooth, light-bodied spirit he created, as opposed to the harsh “fire water” of the time. He used techniques never before used in rum-making including using high quality sugarcane molasses, isolating a special strain of yeast (still used today) for controlled fermentation, filtering multiple times, mellowing his rums in American white oak barrels, and then blending them to create the perfect taste of BACARDI rum.  This new mixable spirit helped usher in a cocktail culture that thrives today. The artful BACARDI Maestros de Ron continue today to follow the same exacting and artful standards set forth by Don Facundo.

‘Speak Low’

1oz BACARDÍ Superior Rum

1oz BACARDÍ Solera Rum

½ oz Osborne Pedro Ximinez Sherry

1tsp Matcha and zest of yuzu


Mix the BACARDÍ Superior and Matcha with a chasen Matcha whisk in a glass tumbler. Strain into a shaker and add BACARDÍ Solera and the sherry. Hard Shake and double strain into old fashioned glass and spray of yuzu zest on the top.


Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211