James Irvine wins the BACARDÍ Legacy Australian final

On Monday night, hospitality royalty gathered at Darlinghurst’s Eternity Playhouse to witness three of Australia’s finest bartenders strain, stir and shake it out in the Australian finals of the BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition 2017/18; its largest yet with over 150 in attendance. After much deliberation following tight presentations and delicious tipples, James Irvine of Sydney’s The Swillhouse Group was announced victorious.
Irvine’s drink, Bocado was judged not only against its ingredients and methods used to create a stunning cocktail for the ages, but also the expertise in marketing the drink to the public. In the end, Irvine’s inspired use of BACARDÍ 8 coupled with a flair for promotion both on and off stage won the judges over – the full recipe for Bocado can be found below.

With this win, Irvine has realised his dream of a BACARDÍ Legacy title, having competed in the finals three years ago, and is now looking forward to representing Sydney and Australia on the global stage in Mexico City. The Bocado utilises mouthfeel, Spanish influence and visuals to create an homage to everyone James feels contributes to making a bar successful: The bartenders, designers and consumers.

Irvine is now off to Mexico City in April on an all-expenses-paid journey to represent Australia against the best bartenders from 35 countries globally, and potentially etch his country’s name into the bartending history books.

BACARDÍ-Martini Australia Marketing Director Jonathan Sully said of the evening, “Seeing three titans of the artful craft of bartending going head to head under such high pressure is truly inspiring. Their passion for creating a legacy of their own shone brightly, and the judges had their work cut out for them picking a winner.”


The panel of judges consisted of previous Australian BACARDÍ Legacy winners Fred Siggins and Dave Kerr, joined by the now Singapore-based Jason Williams (of Keystone fame). MC extraordinaire Charlie Lehmann of Ramblin’ Rascal kept the crowd entertained and the energy high.

Irvine takes home a raft of prizes, including promotional, stocking and financial support from Bacardi nationally and in their hometown. The public will be able to try Bocado from select bars around the country in March.

Bacardi Legacy was established to challenge the best contemporary bartenders in the world to create their own cocktail legacy. A cocktail that will stand the test of time, as have the Daiquiri and Mojito, revered BACARDÍ classics that are as much part of the unique legacy of Don Facundo Bacardi Masso as the rum itself.

Take a look at Irvine’s winning Bocado recipe below.

[ultimate-recipe id=”43417″ template=”default”]