NCL’s Wade Cleophas Wins ‘Bartender of the Year’ Award

Feb 18, 2017

Wade Cleophas representing Norwegian Cruise Line was crowned 2017 Bacardi Legacy Cruise Competition Bartender of the Year in the finals held in Miami, on 13 February.

After more than 2,500 entries by crew members from 13 different cruise lines, Cleophas was among the three finalists of the Bacardi annual award for best cocktail. The competition was stiff as among the finalists was the last year’s winner Miroslav Kljajic from Carnival Cruise Line with his cocktail ‘Artista Mundano’, and Celebrity Cruises bartender Pedro Pascual Rosario, with his cocktail ‘La Romana No. 8’. 

At the end, judges awarded Wade Cleophas cocktail ‘Legend River Reviver’, featuring Bacardi Ocho (8) Anos, star anise-infused sweet vermouth, caramel/cinnamon syrup with drops of whisky barrel-aged bitters and a mist of Absinthe with garnish resembling the sails of a ship and the wings of the Bacardi bat.

“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. I’m going to use the cash prize to treat myself to a long overdue holiday, having worked non-stop for almost a year without a break. Then I’ll be back to work refreshed and ready to continue my bright future with Norwegian – I couldn’t be happier to be part of such an amazing company that honestly feels like my extended family.” said Cleophas.

All three finalists received a $1000 award and the winner received the grand prize of $4000 plus a chance to compete in the Bacardi global finals in Berlin in May 2017.

Bacardi Legacy Bartender of the Year has been running the annual competition for 12 years and in 2012, was introduced the cruise category for the first time when Adri Ford, a bartender representing Carnival Cruise Line at the Alchemy Bar was been named “Bartender of the Year”.

Our best wishes to Wade Cleophas in the finals, and we will cheer for you in Berlin.