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Norwegian Cruise Line’s Wade Cleophas Wins 2017 Bacardí® Legacy Cruise Competition Bartender Of The Year

February 21, 2017 Accolades No Comments Email Email

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Wade Cleophas has bested competition from more than 2500 entries across 13 different cruise lines to win the title of 2017 BACARDÍ® Legacy Cruise Competition Bartender of the YearThe finals took place in Miami on February 13 in a live competition judged by a panel of experts from the beverage industry, held at award-winning restaurant Alter in Miami’s hip Wynwood neighborhood.

Wade’s winning creation is the ‘Legend Reviver’ – inspired by classic cocktails with spices reminiscent of travelling to exotic places – featuring BACARDÍ® OCHO (8) ANOS, mixed with star anise infused sweet vermouth, caramel/cinnamon syrup with drops of whisky barrel aged bitters and finished with a mist of Absinthe.  His perfectly presented cocktail was artistically finished off with a garnish resembling the sails of a merchant ship and the wings of the BACARDÍ bat. A key element of the competition was the requirement for finalists to promote their cocktail around the world.  In the three months that Wade was promoting Legend River Reviver, Norwegian sold almost 2000 servings of the specialty drink. Wade will now move on to The BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition, held this May in Berlin.  The BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition is a global search to find a cocktail that can stand the test of time to become a true BACARDÍ classic; a cocktail that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with cocktails, such as heritage classics including the BACARDÍ Daiquiri or BACARDÍ Mojito.

Wade began his bartending career over 12 years ago, starting out in his hometown of Cape Town, progressing to work with many leading bartenders in Dubai and Miami, before joining Norwegian Cruise Line. Today, he is the Assistant Beverage Manager onboard Norwegian Escape, sailing weekly from Miami to the Caribbean. “This is such an exciting time for me, and moving on to compete in the global finals means for the next year I am regarded as one of the top bartenders in the world,” said Wade Cleophas.  “I couldn’t be happier to be part of such an amazing company that honestly feels like my extended family.”

“We are incredibly proud of Norwegian Cruise Line assistant beverage manager Wade Cleophas for winning the 2017 BACARDÍ Legacy Cruise Competition,” said Karl Muhlberger Vice President, Food and Beverage for Norwegian Cruise Line.  “To be deemed the very best amongst 2500 cruise line applicants is a testament to Wade’s dedication to his craft and the entire beverage team at Norwegian. We are thrilled he will be representing not just Norwegian, but the entire cruise industry at the Global Finals in Berlin.”

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