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Our People
Crowning a champion in the UAE
Matthew Wakeford, Bar Manager of the Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Waterfront, won the BACARDÍ® Legacy Cocktail National Competition in the United Arab Emirates

A stunning victory in the United Arab Emirates, as Matthew Wakeford, Bar Manager of the Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Waterfront, took home the top prize at the BACARDÍ® Legacy Cocktail National Competition.

Challenging bartenders to create a BACARDÍ® rum cocktail with the potential to establish itself as a classic, the BACARDÍ® Legacy Cocktail Competition has run regional and national qualifiers all over the world. Beginning locally in each participating country, the competition culminates in a global final where the next BACARDÍ® Legacy Global Champion will be crowned.

Already the national winner, Bar Manager of the Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Waterfront, Matthew Wakeford, put his skills to the test on the regional stage. Competing against four other capable United Arab Emirates finalists, he used his knowledge of mixology to bag himself the winning spot with his own signature creation, the ‘El Meu Avi’ – a crisp mix of BACARDÍ® Carta Blanca, St Germain, lemon sherbet, fresh basil and celery bitters.

The cocktail concoctions were judged on a number of different criteria, including originality, creativity and overall story. For the story of Matthew’s creation, he portrayed the journey of the 16-year-old Facundo Barcardi from Catalunya to Cuba (once the land of opportunity), using the journey he himself took from Scotland to Dubai (the modern day land of opportunity) as his inspiration. View the short video below to find out more.


Congratulations to Matthew on his victory in the national competition! We can’t wait to see what he creates at the global final in Amsterdam in May.

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Comments (6)



Written by

Katharina Vanbeugen-Mayr
Cluster Director of PR & Communication
11 Mar 2019