Carnival Mixologist Named ‘Bartender of the Year’ at Bacardi Cruise Competition

SAN JUAN (Feb. 18, 2019) — Sanja Cvijetic, a Carnival Cruise Line bartender won the 2019 BACARDÍ® Legacy Cruise Competition in San Juan, Puerto Rico, competing against more than 2,000 entries from major cruise lines’ top bartenders worldwide. This marks the fourth time in the past eight years that a Carnival mixologist has earned the coveted award.

Carnival Cruise Line bartender Sanja Cvijetic winner of the 2019 BACARDÍ® Legacy Cruise Competition in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The BACARDÍ® Legacy Cruise Competition is an annual global search to find the best bartender in the cruise industry with a cocktail that can stand among Bacardí’s heritage classics. This was Cvijetic’s first bartender competition.

Cvijetic, a 31-year-old from Bosnia who is currently aboard Carnival Conquest, took home the gold for her custom-created libation, “Purple Sunset,” a signature cocktail mix of Bacardí Superior, Monin® Lavender Syrup, lemonade, fresh lime juice, MARTINI Prosecco® and fresh rosemary.

In addition to a $4,000 cash award and an etched trophy, Cvijetic’s victory earned her a spot in Bacardí’s global finals this May in Amsterdam where she’ll compete against 38 domestic market winners for the ultimate title.

“Winning the BACARDÍ® Legacy Cruise Bartender of the Year 2019 is beyond everything I ever dreamed,” said Cvijetic. “Working for Carnival has opened my eyes to a world of possibilities, and I am so grateful for the unique opportunity to compete against such talented professionals.”

Carnival Mixologist Sanja Cvijetic showing off her skills at the Bacardi Legacy Cruise Bartender of the Year competition.

“Sanja is a fantastic role model for our team of bartenders across the fleet and shows a great level of professionalism and talent,” added Edward Allen, vice president of beverage operations for Carnival Cruise Line. “Joining us in January 2018 on Carnival Pride, she has made a positive impression on our guests who enjoy her warm hospitality and amazing bartending skills. We are very proud of her and look forward to supporting her at the global finals.”

First Runner-Up in the Competition was Holland America Line’s Narciso “Archie” Fausto Mariano, Jr. with his entry the Velvet Fashionista. You can read more about his journey here: Holland America Line Bartender Heads to Bacardi Cruise Competition Finals

Here is Sanja’s Winning Cocktail:

COCKTAIL NAME:  Purple Sunset


Life often can be stressful, and smell of lavender is known as a calming one. That’s something I would do at home; smell fresh flowers of lavender to relax after a long day. When you work on a cruise ship, you probably won’t find fresh lavender, but you’ll find amazing colors of the sunset. The ones you can only see while you’re cruising in the open seas. They have same affect as lavender. My inspiration was to mix those two together with a rum that smells like vacation. Introducing the Purple Sunset.


The 2019 Bacardi Cruise Competition winning cocktail. The Purple Sunset.

60ml Bacardi Superior
22ml Monin Lavender Syrup
15ml Vitality Lemonade
15ml Fresh Lime Juice
Splash of Domain Chandon
Rosemary bunch


Gently muddle rosemary bunch. Place all ingredients (except Chandon) into shaker. Add ice and shake up to 10 seconds. Double strain into a chilled Martini glass. Add a few more drops of lavender syrup and a splash of Chandon. Garnish with a rosemary bunch.