Behind the Bar Stick People

Who Won the USBG Legacy National Finals?

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French Scotty Marshall, left, and Moe Isaza celebrate.

Top bartenders from around the world will soon be traveling to Mexico City for the BACARDÍ Legacy Global Finals. Only two Americans will be part of this formidable group: French Scotty Marshall and Moe Isaza.

The two competed in the Boston regional, but that’s not all they have in common. Both bartenders created timeless and delicious recipes and put on an incredible performance at the USBG Legacy National Finals in Miami.

All 10 bartenders who arrived at the national finals on February 6 had tons of talent and a delicious cocktail in the arsenal. What made the winners stand out was the ability to combine their timeless recipe with a compelling personal story.

National champion Marshall was inspired by his origins. He currently bartends in Washington, D.C., but was born in St. Thomas during a category 5 hurricane. His winning cocktail, the Coki Beach, was named after his local beach and is strongly influenced by the tropical flavors he was surrounded by growing up.

Marshall prepares his winning cocktail, the Coki Beach.

Sharing a recipe so personal was a powerful experience for Marshall. “You’re creating your cocktail and pouring your heart and soul into your story and then manifesting that onstage,” he says. “The Legacy Competition was something I heard about, but nothing compares to what you feel.”

Wild-card winner Isaza was also inspired by his family’s history. The Boston bartender’s Poderoso, which is Spanish for “powerful,” is bold and original, just like his family. He reflected on the competition so far, saying, “It has been very fulfilling. This was a moment where I could tie my family and career together.”

Isaza puts on a show making his Poderoso cocktail.

The global finals in Mexico are sure to be competitive, but you can expect the two American finalists to be cheering for one another.

Marshall talked about going to Boston for the regional competition and getting the chance to see Isaza in his element. “I watched him compete in his city, in his old bar. And to know that I’m going to continue this journey with him—that’s a beautiful thing.”

It was an unforgettable night in Miami, filled with incredible drinks and high-caliber bartenders. The global finals will present an even more difficult challenge, but Marshall and Isaza are ready for it.