Miroslav Kljajic of Carnival Cruise Line has been crowned winner of the 2016 Bacardi Legacy Cruise Competition Bartender of the Year and now goes forward to compete in the global finals of the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition in San Francisco being held in April.

Miro impressed the judges with his bespoke and innovative Elixir Fizz cocktail creation, featuring Carta Blanca rum, tawny port wine, homemade vanilla & thyme syrup, prosecco, cherry bitter spray and fresh sprigs of thyme.

This year’s Cruise Competition was judged by William Ramos, Senior Brand Master for, Adrian Biggs Senior Portfolio Ambassador, and John Lermayer, owner of Sweet Liberty cocktail bar in Miami Beach and 2010 Legacy US winner.

Zachary Sulkes Regional Manager Bacardi Travel Retail Americas comments: “Miro’s winning cocktail perfectly captures the spirit of Bacardi. His confidence and professional presentation really impressed the judges and he is clearly a fantastic example of how bartending standards in the cruise industry are fast becoming ever more professional with talent like Miro whose total commitment to his craft, knowledge and skills are an absolute pleasure to witness in action. We were also very impressed with the marketing campaign he created to promote his cocktail in the months leading up to the final. “

William Ramos provides the judges’ feedback on the cocktail reaction itself: “Elixir Fizz itself is light, floral and aromatic in nature, perfectly complimenting the Bacardi Carta Blanca rum. The initial scent of cherry gives way to the uniquely fresh aroma of thyme. Once sipped the medium bodied port hits you with rich intense flavours of dark fruits finally finished by a smooth, oaky, vanilla ending.”

Explaining how he promoted the cocktail, Kljajic added: “In the three months leading up to the final my cocktail was featured as the drink of the day onboard Carnival Glory twice a week at the Alchemy bar. I got in touch with my friends who work on-board and others in bars around the world and was able to get it featured in some incredible locations. I also spent 2 weeks attending a professional mixology course in Stockholm where I presented Elixir Fizz in Marie Laveau, one of the most famous cocktail bars in the city, with 35 of the world’s best bartenders in attendance. I also wanted to give a something back to the community and through my cocktail Carnival Cruise Line has been able to raise $1,000 for a local children's hospital in Miami.”