July 20, 2017.
Following Norwegian Escape’s Head Mixologist Marc McArthur’s win at the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year semifinals competition on June 20, Norwegian Cruise Line is once again in the spotlight for its outstanding onboard beverage program. Led by Wesley Cort, Senior Director of Restaurant and Beverage Operations, and Luis Ortega, Manager of Beverage Operations Development, Norwegian’s beverage team is celebrating the recognition stemming from several honors received in the first half of 2017.
2017 Diageo WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Semi-Finals
On June 20, Marc McArthur, head mixologist aboard Norwegian Escape, took home the gold in the semi-finalist round of the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year competition and was awarded the title of Diageo Global Travel’s Best Bartender in the cruise industry division.
In the competition’s Mystery Box Challenge, the bartenders were asked to create cocktails using several secret ingredients, provided just 15 minutes prior to the challenge. McArthur served up two concoctions, pulling inspiration from legendary public figures – Nelson Mandela and Princess Diana. For his first drink, inspired by Nelson Mandela, McArthur combined Zacapa Rum, passion fruit, peanut butter, green chartreuse, sweet vermouth and cardamom. His second cocktail evoked the distinctively elegant spirit of Princess Diana with Matcha-infused Tanqueray 10, fresh lemon, simple syrup, gooseberries and pink peppercorn.
In the Cocktails Against the Clock Challenge, the bartenders were asked to create as many unique cocktails as they could in just five minutes. McArthur bested the competition, meticulously executing six incredible signature cocktails – Zacapa Mai Tai, Winter Old Fashioned, Sherry Martini, Marilyn Monroe, Smoke n’ Fire and the Traquila – serving up his final cocktail just before time ran out.
McArthur will now continue on to represent Norwegian at the WORLD CLASS global finals event in Mexico City on August 20. He will compete against 56 top bartenders from around the world for the coveted title of WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year 2017.
2017 BACARDI® Legacy Cruise Competition Bartender of the Year
Earlier this year, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Wade Cleophas 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 Year. The 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 – the ‘Legend Reviver’ – was inspired by classic cocktails with spices reminiscent of exotic destinations. The cocktail, featuring BACARDÍ® OCHO (8) ANOS, was 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.
2017 Vista Awards Best Beer and Wine Programs
Rounding out Norwegian Cruise Line’s beverage kudos for the first half of 2017, the line was recognized as having the Best Beer Program and the Best Wine Program out of all hotels, cruise lines and casinos at the 2017 Vista Awards, held on Tuesday, February 28 during the VIBE Conference, the premiere on-premise beverage conference for beverage executives. Norwegian was the only cruise line honored at the awards.
VIBE Vista Awards recognize the top performers in the beverage industry through the creation, training, execution, management and ongoing positive results of beverage programs. Entries were reviewed by a panel of Johnson & Wales University beverage faculty, staff and alumni and were judged on positive beverage sales initiatives, efficient operational innovations and training and service programs producing high quality standards.