Top South African bartender (and regular contributor to MUDL Magazine) Denzel Heath of Thirst Bar Academy in Johannesburg took the top spot in the South African Finals of the Bacardí Legacy Cocktail Competition earlier this year. This earned him the right to represent his country at the Global Finals in Sydney, the first time the finale has been held in the Southern Hemisphere.
Denzel took the SA Finals with his cocktail, 'The Lennox'; a premium shake-up of Bacardi Carta Oro Rum, Perdo Ximenez Sherry, banana infusion and more.
Says Heath of the inspiration behind the cocktail: "[At one point] I had forgotten what my bar family had taught me. I started making drinks that I thought other bartenders would expect me to make. Drinks that made sense on paper, but often not on the palate. Bartending became more about me rather than about my patrons. I created 'The Lennox' as a symbol of me breaking this cycle and it is dedicated to all of those bartenders that have had an influence on who I am today – and there are too many to mention! The Lennox is me, and The Lennox is you. A fun drink created from my heart, my experiences and your direction."
"Bacardí Legacy grants bartenders a platform to express their personality through their unique drink creations," said Denzel. "How will one be remembered and what for? Unlike other international and brand cocktail competitions, Bacardí Legacy has as a core emphasis on the personality, interaction and technical skill of the bartender – a character trait that makes Bacardí Legacy the bartender's competition."
The 34 Global Finalists have been in Sydney the last few days taking part in workshops, but the tomorrow things get real as the semi-finals kick off. A panel of judges, including Bacardi's Master Distiller José Sanchez Gavito and current champion Tom Walker, will then whittle the field down to eight bartenders who will go through to the grande final on Sunday 3 May at Sydney's Town Hall.
As if winning the title isn't enough on its own, the triumphant bartender also walks away with the following prizes:
|Luxury Trophy||A trip to the
La Galarza distillery
|A World Tour|
MUDL wishes Denzel all the best in his bid to do his country proud and bring the silverware back to South Africa.