Emily Says . . . . ‘Flat White’

Flat White

In her ninth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at ABC for breakfast;

I’m experiencing a small beer hype at the moment, and I simply can’t get enough of certain numbers that I have recently discovered. Therefore, I introduce my next feature which is about one of my newly discovered favourites. Alphabet Brewing Company have unveiled this quirky little number: Flat White Breakfast Stout. But firstly, what even is a stout? Never mind a breakfast one!

A stout is a dark beer that contains roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast. Irish dry stout Guinness has become the face of stouts, and has generally become the go-to out of all stouts.

Manchester based Alphabet Brewing have pushed the boat out with its 7.4% Flat White as it doesn’t fit the criteria of your usual stout. Despite being described as a ‘white breakfast stout’, the colour is this beer is in fact a reddish brown. Paler than the standard stout, yes, but not white! It is the combination of oats, milk and coffee that have allowed Flat White to achieve this unique colour, and most importantly, it’s unique taste.

A dark and spicy tasting experience overall, Flat White delivers the perfect coffee kick to start off anyone’s day… or night! It has been slightly sweetened, which is the only issue to arise in the sense that not everyone has their coffee sweet. But it worked beautifully for myself, as it has seemed to do also with everyone else I know who have given it a try.
From my first sip of this stout, I was instantly reminded of the aromas that an Espresso Martini delivers. Of course, neither are the same at all, it doesn’t take an expert to know that; but the strong kick of coffee alongside the punchy flavour of the alcohol made me reminisce on my last Espresso Martini… which wasn’t that long ago!

The delicate roasting of this beer is made apparent in not only the main body, but the after taste also. The hops and oat aromas are left tantalising the taste buds, with that undeniable punchy taste of coffee lingering on the back of your tongue.

It is a hipster’s dream breakfast, as it is mine! Flat White is the perfect start to them few beers in the day, or a little ‘pick me up’ at the end of a long day in the office. Bravo, Alphabet Brewing Company!

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Rum-Bar

Rum Bar Gold

To most, Jamaica is seen as one of more recognisable islands of the Caribbean. Whether it’s through your own visits or becoming inspired by the images and videos on social media, the country is rich in culture with the expected tipple of choice being a driving force for many to enjoy when visiting.

A distillery tour is a must when visiting any Caribbean island, especially if originating from Europe or America. The styles of the equipment used to the liquid it produces, it’s a stark contrast of finished product to the selection of home, and it adds to intrigue and buzz when a tour operator has a distillery option to their many packages available.

Saying that, you do only get to enjoy a handful.

A handful in that not all distilleries are open to the public, or indeed able to function with a tour opportunity. You will see and experience perhaps some of the biggest names on the island, Jamaica included with Appleton Estate and Hampden Estate, but you do miss out on many expressions that the islands can offer. It’s understandable that if you visit a distillery and walk away with new-found knowledge and a love for a new bottle, you’ll seek it out in your hotel, the areas local bar or indeed your favourite rum bar once back home. But with the UK especially, there’s so much rum to experience these days that you can easily overlook those ‘other’ distilleries when visiting its home country.

It’s with this that my focus here is on a fellow Jamaican distillery that can be easily overlooked due to its lack of a tour opportunity. Lets take a look at Rum-Bar from Worthy Park Estate.

Worthy-park

Worthy Park Estate itself can be found within St. Catherine, itself a part of the Vale of Lluidas (or more commonly known as Lluidas Vale), 1,200 feet above sea level and with approximately 10,000 acres of vibrant foliage just 40 miles north-west of Kingston and 28 miles south from the tourist centre of Ocho Rios. The Estate has been a part of the landscape since 1670 when it was gifted to Lt. Francis Price for his services to Oliver Cromwell during the English capture of the island from the Spanish in 1655. Ever since it has slowly expanded to how you see it today.

The production of cane and sugar began in 1720, continuing to this day under the Clarke family, who themselves took over in 1918 from the previous family and becoming one of only 3 families to ever own the Estate. Despite having 10,000 acres of land, approximately 40% of it is currently used for sugar cultivation (where around 20 cane varieties are grown), with the rest for a handful of livestock and other crop production.

January to the end of June is the traditional sugar season, although due to the nature of the 24 hour operation, July to December is perfect to service the equipment within the sugar factory so consistency over the years can be maintained. The sugar cane itself is predominantly harvested by hand for efficiency and to maximise yield, although 20 years ago it was decided to also use cane harvesters to assist in the daily supply needed, resulting in Worthy Park Estate being rated number one on the island since 1968.

Each year, approximately 210,000 tonnes of cane is milled, with 90,000 tonnes of that coming from the Worthy Park Estate itself. The rest is supplemented by purchases from local farmers. It makes sense then that Worthy Park Estate produces all the molasses needed for its rum production, with between 7,000 – 8,000 tonnes per year produced.

Worthy Park Estate’s rum history has been sporadic since the 1740’s, with production in halted by the Spirits Pool Association of Jamaica in 1962 due to an over-supply of Jamaican rum following World War 2. With no rum activity for decades, and with times and attitude to rum changing, 2004 saw the Clarke family deciding to relaunch and in 2005 their new distillery opened, with 2007 seeing the flagship brand Rum-Bar Rum launched.

There’s currently four Rum-Bar expressions available to the market; the traditional Jamaican styled Rum-Bar Rum, a white overproof rum that is a blend of three un-aged rums, all distilled within their copper pot still, Rum-Bar Silver which is a a white, un-aged 40% abv rum, and their Rum-Bar Gold which is barrel aged (Jack Daniel’s) for a minimum of 4 years. Rum-Bar Rum Cream came to be the 3rd expression released, combining Rum-Bar Rum with real cream.

So with this, below I give to you my tasting notes on my Worthy Park Estate journey so far –

Rum-Bar Gold – 40%

Ripe green apple notes come through on the nose, with honey, vanilla and fudge infused molasses ever-present. Plenty of banana flavours come through on the palate, with hints of cedar from the oak, toffee and lingering treacle finish.

A cracking Jamaican tipple here, one that can easily be sipped over ice. Saying that, it wouldn’t go a miss in one of these –

Cane Planter’s Punch

Ingredients – 

90ml Rum-Bar Gold
30ml Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
30ml Simple Syrup
3 dash Angostura Bitters
Fill with Coconut Water

Method – 

Combine all ingredients in a tall glass and fill with crushed ice. Swizzle and garnish.

A very tasty look at the ‘other’ Jamaican rums that you can come across both on the island itself, as well as within many venues across the UK. I’m looking forward to heading over myself this year, and although there’s no distillery tour, that doesn’t mean I’ll be ignoring it in the local bars! One for your drinks cabinet for sure.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Emily Says . . . . ‘Old Mout Cider’

Old Mout

In her sixth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at her favourite Summer cider;

Any bartender will be familiar with the famous brands of fruit cider. Fruit cider, whether one likes it or not, is the nation’s favourite summer time drink and certainly will be for a long time. And with summer creeping around the corner, I thought I’d write up a little something about one of the best brands and what wonderful things this company has to offer… and most importantly, how to pronounce it correctly!

Established 65 years ago in Nelson, New Zealand, Old Mout began on a cycling trip in England. Wanda Tait sampled the traditional local ciders and fell in love instantly. Bringing this love back to NZ, she set up her own cidery in a shed and the infamous company was born.

A couple of young pioneers then took over. Justin and Scottie helped give Old Mout the name they are so famous for with their tantalising and unique fruit flavours, rather than sticking to the traditional apple or pear flavours. The pair were inspired by the beautiful island fruits and went on to develop a range of fruit flavours that would later win them awards and, of course, a step up the ladder in the competitive cider industry.

Today in the UK, Old Mout is slowly but surely becoming a household name. With the strong competitors of Kopparberg and Rekorderlig fruit ciders, it was certainly a gradual process getting the word out about this NZ number. And it still is a gradual process on how to pronounce it correctly…

Its spelling causes understandable confusion. Rather than pronounce it as ‘Mout’, as the spelling suggests, it is in fact pronounced as ‘M-oo-oo-t’. Nor is it pronounced as ‘Moat’ either, which I’ve heard a few times over the bar as I’ve struggled to hold back my laughter.

Old Mout features four very unique flavours over here in the UK:

Kiwi & Lime
Strawberry & Pomegranate
Summer Berries
Passionfruit & Apple

Rather than sticking to the generic ‘Strawberry & Lime’ favourite that dominates most fruit ciders here in Britain, Old Mout have put a twist on the classic flavours of traditional cider. Pairing passionfruit with apple delivers bittersweet notes, and the combination of kiwi and lime gives something truly refreshing. Pomegranate has truly made an appearance in the bar over the last year, and it makes a superb flavour for a cider as Old Mout has proved.

So for this summer, make sure you are equipped with sunglasses and a bottle of Old Mout cider when sitting in your favourite beer garden; the sunshine and the exotic fruits of New Zealand have been brought to the UK!

Starward

Starward_WineCask_Websize
David Vitale has brought Australian whisky to the UK, using his Melbourne roots and their famed ‘four seasons in a day’ temperature swings. Introducing to you all, Starward.

2007 saw David create the idea of a ‘approachable, affordable Australian whisky – served neat or as a cocktail with food’. Using locally grown brewer’s barley, yeast and water are added to brew and ferment, before distilling using a traditional double distillation process within copper pot stills.

Once drawn off, the spirit enters Australian red wine barrels, the wood still saturated with wine, for the full duration of the maturation period. During this period, Melbourne’s “four seasons in a day” climate means the wood of the barrels expands and contracts more frequently than those say in Scotland or America, resulting in bolder flavours in a shorter space of time. And, unlike Scottish whisky, whilst their whisky matures the alcohol content goes up, not down, something they name the Elemental Maturation.

Two expressions are currently available, seen below, with my tasting notes to accompany –

Starward Solera – 43%

Aged in barrels of around 40-50 years old, formerly containing Apera, which is an Australian take on Spanish sherry.
Rich, ripe stoned fruits of apricot, cherry and hints of strawberry upon the nose. A tart, sharp experience of orange zest, citrus and honeycomb, followed by a long, bold finish of raisin, dried apricot and grape soaked oak.

Starward Wine Cask – 41%

Aged in steamed Australian red wine barrels. Subtle aromas of malt, red grape and dark cocoa upon the nose, followed onto the palate with riper plum, cherry and cinnamon stick flavours. A lingering profile of raspberry and citrus for the finish.

Two fantastic Australian whiskies, and great to see they are versatile to enjoy too –

Starward - Whisky Grapefruit Collins
Whisky Grapefruit Collins

Glass –

Collins

Ingredients –

45 ml Starward Solera
15 ml Aperol
15 ml Lime Juice
20 ml Grapefruit
10 g Sugar

Method –

Shake all ingredients, strain into a tall Collins glass, top up with soda and garnish with mint and lemon.

Two great expressions to enjoy from the land of Oz, with the country really striving for recognition within the whisky world; Stalwart becoming one of the leaders from Down Under. Worth of a place in your drinks cabinet.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Gin Sul

GinSul-WebsizeHamburg may not be the first place you think of for creating gin, but the rules have changed and Gin Sul has made its way to the UK from Hamburg’s only gin distillery!

Masterminded by Stephan Garbe, he was inspired by his time living in Costa Vicentina in south-west Portugal and decided to use the botanicals of the country, including lemons and Rockrose. Unable to create his idea in Portugal itself, he set up in Hamburg to produce a German version of his Portuguese idea, Gin Sul becoming the result.

Produced by hand, fresh lemons are sent over from Portugal, arriving at the distillery on an almost weekly basis. Peeled by hand, the fresh peels are combined with juniper berries, coriander, rosemary, peppers, lavender, cinnamon and gum rockrose (Cistus Ladanifer) amongst others. Small batches of just 100 litres are created each time.

Their distinctive white bottles are made from stoneware, then glazed and screen printed, before being filled by hand. But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Gin Sul – 43%

Fresh zest of the lemons come through immediately upon the nose, followed by dry pepper and subtle lavender. Very soft upon the palate, offering up a waxy lemon peel, rosemary scent and dry pepper dusting. A lingering finish, with a slight heat on the tongue, and fresh juniper kick.

Very different indeed, and one that could work very well within a Martini or Vesper for sure. A talking point for your drinks cabinet, even if it’s the bottle alone before you crack it open.

Genießen!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Emily Says . . . . ‘John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum’

Velvet Green Martini

In her fourth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at the Barbadian classic from John D. Taylor;

Coming from a bartenders experience, rum is one of the most frequently ordered drinks, whether drinking it neat, with a mixer, or as many find themselves doing, searching for the perfect rum based cocktail.

But this Caribbean classic has much more to offer than one would expect. The creation of rum all the way back in the 17th century was spurred along by plantation slaves, of whom discovered that a by-product of the sugar refining process could be fermented into alcohol.

Putting aside the technical talk, rum allowed the production of many rum-based liqueurs that were yet to come in the future of alcohol. One of these rum-based products is John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum, created in Barbados some time between 1830-1930.

A beautiful blend of lime zest, sugar, ginger, cloves and pure Barbadian white rum, John D. Taylor truly created a true specimen of the 18th-19th century Barbados bar culture. Velvet Falernum offers drinkers a much smoother and sweeter experience, particularly for those who may want to avoid the rich spices of classic rum. Standing at only 11% volume however, Velvet Falernum is perfect in the use of mixology, and has even been considered a syrup rather than a liqueur due to its sweet properties.

Today in the bartending world, Velvet Falernum is well known for its usage in classics such as the Rum Swizzle, Mai Tai, Zombie and the Corn N’ Oil. But for something a bit different, Velvet Falernum plays a key role in one of these exquisite creations:

Velvet Green Martini 2

Velvet Green Martini

Glass – Martini

Ingredients –
25ml egg white
15ml lemon juice
7.5ml kiwi syrup
25ml apple juice
15ml Velvet Falernum
15ml Briottet Apple Liqueur
15ml Tanqueray Export

Method – Pour all ingredients into a boston glass, add ice and hard shake to create a thick head on the finishing result.

Garnish – Mint sprig and a pipette of chlorophyll for an ombre effect.

The Velvet Green Martini delivers a, as the title suggests, a velvety smooth drinking experience. The egg white creates the silky texture which compliments the name of this drink perfectly. Sugar syrup is not as vital as would be usually due to the sweet notes of Velvet Falernum, complementing the sweet and crisp aromas of apple and kiwi that are present in the drink. Velvet Falernum not only works beautifully with rum, but with various different spirits as the Velvet Green proves clearly.

When making this drink, I must say around 9 times out of 10, many will recoil at the thought of chlorophyll being added to their drink. Just to clarify, chlorophyll mustn’t be mistaken for chloroform. Chlorophyll is a tasteless and odourless plant extract that is used purely for appearance. Its dark colour creates an ombre effect, which is truly pleasing for the eyes, as well as the taste buds.

Credit and copyright:
The Botanist

Emily Says . . . . ‘The Espresso Martini’

Espresso Martini

In her third feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at the ever faithful Espresso Martini;

A cocktail that has never gone out of fashion: the Espresso Martini. A simply timeless concoction of vodka paired with espresso, this number is the go-to at the bar for a little ‘pick me up’. But how did this infamous creation come about in the bartending scene?

Rumour has it that the Espresso Martini was created in the early 1980s by London bartender Dick Bradsel whilst working at the Soho Brasserie. According to Dick himself, the story goes that a famous female model visited the bar and asked him to get her a drink that will ‘pick me up then fuck me up’. Not a request a bartender gets every day, that’s for sure! The Espresso Martini was born after Dick put together some vodka and sugar with a shot of espresso from the bars shiny new espresso machine. Revolutionary.

The growing popularity of the espresso machine in the 1980s spurred along the name of the Espresso Martini. Even to this very day, this timeless little number never fails to make an appearance in the life of a bartender. Whether it is being enjoyed as a post-dinner treat or fuelling a late night, there is always a suitable time for the Espresso Martini.

In my four and a half years of bartending, I’ve come across several different recipes in making the perfect Espresso Martini. Here is the recipe I personally have found to truly shake up something beautiful:

Glassware –
Martini

Ingredients –
1 bar spoon of fresh honey
25ml sugar syrup
25ml Café Patron XO
50ml Belvedere Vodka
1 shot of espresso

Method –
Pour all ingredients into a boston glass. Add ice and hard shake to ensure a thick head on the finishing product; the Espresso Martini is all about the foam! Double strain into a chilled martini glass.

Garnish – three single coffee beans.

The addition of fresh honey truly gives a smoother touch to the Espresso Martini, complimenting beautifully the smooth finish of Belvedere vodka.
Usually, the usage of any coffee liqueur is suitable in the creation of this particular drink. I, however, feel that the use of Patron’s own coffee tequila, Café Patron XO gives an exclusive touch, and certainly brings out the caffeine kick that we coffee lovers are looking for. For those true coffee enthusiasts, however, the replacement of Café Patron XO with a double espresso will work just fine.

A cocktail that one can truly not go wrong with, and a cocktail that will never go out of style: The Espresso Martini, here to pick you up… then fuck you up.

Emily Says . . . . ‘Budvar Hoptails’

The Budweis Mule

In her second feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at Budvar Hoptails: The Budweis Mule;

The beauty of mixology is having the freedom to mix whatever one likes in order to create the perfect drink. And who says one must stick to just spirits in this art?
The art of mixing beer with classic cocktail ingredients is ever growing in the bartending industry today. More and more concoctions are being created, all with the one compound in common; beer. Whether it’s a lager, a pale ale or even a cask, beer is the key ingredient in creating something rather special in the competitive world of mixology.

You don’t have to be a qualified beer guru to have heard of Budweiser Budvar, one of the world’s most famous beer brand. Most commonly known for its infamous pale lager, Budweiser Original, the Budvar brand dates back centuries; all the way back to 1265 to be precise. The town České Budějovice of Czech Republic was founded by Ottokar II, the King of Bohemia, and was granted many important privileges; one of which being able to brew beer. And so the story begins.

The year of 1872 welcomed the export of beer from České Budějovice to the United States, strongly spurred along by millions of Czech locals relocating to the states for a better life; and bringing their thirst for beer with them!
Since then, Budvar has become a global sensation. And it is this global popularity that has introduced Budvar Hoptails; a platform that showcases the greatest beer cocktail creations that bartenders across the world have created.

The Budweis Mule 2

The Budweis Mule: a fiery twist on the classic Moscow Mule.

Glass – Tankard

Ingredients –
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
Fresh lemon thyme
Fresh ginger
15ml sugar syrup
20ml lemon juice
15ml Cointreau
30ml Tanqueray Export Gin
Bottle of Budweiser Budvar Original

Method –

Firstly, muddle in the lemon thyme and ginger with the sugar syrup and lemon juice in a boston glass – in order to achieve the best flavour! Add the Angostura bitters, Cointreau and Tanqueray and shake hard with plenty of ice.
Single strain over cubed ice, and top with the bottle of Budweiser Budvar Original. Garnish with a lemon thyme sprig and lemon zest.

This exclusive creation was stirred up by Jonah Robertshawe. Coming all the way from Sydney, Australia, Jonah has brought his Australian expertise to Manchester’s bartending scene, where he currently resides at The Botanist. From taking part in the Budvar Hoptails national competition, Jonah’s creation earned himself a name in Budvar and the sales of the Budweis Mule in Botanists across the country, and here is what he has to say about his concoction:

“I’ve always been a big fan of the Moscow Mule style cocktails, but I wanted to work with the flavour of the saarz hops in the Budvar using complimentary spirits, which is the Tanqueray gin, which are then backed up by the citrus notes of Cointreau.”
“However, I didn’t want to stray too far away from the classic Moscow Mule. So rather than ginger beer, I paired together fresh ginger and lemon thyme so the essential flavour of the Mule wasn’t lost”.

The fiery essence of the ginger beautifully complements the bitter-sweet bite that the drink delivers. Rather than sticking to the traditional Mule spec by using vodka, Tanqueray Export gin has been used purely for its floral aroma, which balances the hoppy and fragrant Budweiser Budvar perfectly.
An admirable creation from Jonah Robertshawe, The Budweis Mule offers a tantalising and sensual drinking experience, and certainly something that will be very hard to come by anywhere else.

Credit and copyright:
Budvar Hoptails
Budweiser Budvar Original
The Botanist

Emily Says . . . . “Liqueur de Coquelicot”

Poppy & Pomegranate Martini 2
New to Drinks Enthusiast, a voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering, a bartender by heart who looks at the ever growing love of spirits, cocktails and beer. Her first post under ‘Emily Says . . .’ for the site looks at Liqueur de Coquelicot;

The French family firm that is Maison Briottet has been producing its world famous liqueurs since 1836, and has truly left its mark upon the liquor industry today. Initially beginning as a wine establishment, Briottet became famous for their creation of Crème De Cassis; the universal go-to blackcurrant liqueur. As the years went by and their business expanded, Briottet began the production of flavoured liqueurs and fine spirits.

Now, in 2018, Briottet sells its fine products across 26 different countries and holds a range of over 61 liqueurs, 8 eux de vie and 4 fine spirits. It has become the bartenders ‘go-to’ in flavoured liqueurs, particularly in mixology.

Briottet have truly pushed the boat out with their exclusive Liqueur de Coquelicot; a poppy seed infused liqueur. The wild poppy flower comes from the subfamily Papaveroidease, of the family Papaveracease. Putting aside the technical talk, the poppy liqueur offers a crisp yet subtly sweet taste, initially created as a pre-dinner drink to be mixed with a sparkling wine.

In fact, the poppy flavour originates and is inspired from a French confectionery from 1872, back when the master confectioner Desserey started making poppy flavoured pastilles. They very quickly became a speciality of Northern France, which heightened the popularity of the poppy flower in the world of food and drink.

A fresh and tantalising mixture of the poppy flower, Liqueur de Coquelicot offers the perfect balance between subtle dry notes, alongside a kick of sweetness; making it the perfect counterpart in the art of mixology.

Poppy & Pomegranate Martini
Liqueur de Coquelicot features beautifully in the Poppy & Pomegranate Martini; an exquisite creation from The Botanist.

Glass – Martini

Ingredients –
25ml Egg White
15ml Lemon Juice
7.5ml Basil Sugar Syrup
25ml Pomegranate Juice
15ml Absolut Raspberry Vodka
15ml Briottet Framboise
15ml Briottet Coquelicot
Garnish – Viola Flower

Method – Pour all ingredients into a Boston glass, hard shake, then go on to double strain into a chilled martini glass.

The Poppy & Pomegranate Martini delivers a beautifully crisp drink, with complimentary notes of the sweetness of raspberry and the bitter-sweet aromas of pomegranate. Egg white is the key ingredient in achieving the silky texture, which truly makes this cocktail such a delight. The presence of Liqueur de Coquelicot makes this number the perfect pre-dinner cocktail.

A truly beautiful concoction from the Briottet family, and one that will surely be seen much more in the world of mixology.

Pick up a bottle of Liqueur de Coquelicot for your drinks cabinet.

Image Copyright: Nick Whitby at The Botanist, New World Trading Company 2017

Swedish Victory In The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Challenge 2017

Group

The last two weeks has seen me embrace my favourite rum brand more than ever with a trip to St Lucia for the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai season. Hosted at Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina, the 5* venue became the hub for a host of international and island based bartenders for several days, welcoming with a Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Ice Tea upon arrival and offering the relaxed and chilled vibes St Lucia is famous for.

The aim of the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai season is to culminate in a combined final of winning efforts from across the world from the last year, paired with St Lucian counterparts to crown the ultimate Mai Tai team and recipe. Representatives include the United Kingdom, USA, Spain, France, Portugal and Sweden, who each won their respective national heats to earn their way to the final.

After being inspired by a tour of St Lucia Distillers within the Roseau Valley, spiced rum talks from local producers, and an insightful chat on all things tiki by the renowned bartender and owner of Spirit of Tiki, Georgi Radev, culminating in the paired teams having the opportunity to experience the Castries Market in the capital city and pick up some local and home-produced ingredients and vessels, ready for the evenings finale.

Mai Tai

With 5 judges, including myself and Alva Preville (Taste of the Caribbean winning bartender in 2010 amongst his host of accolades), each paired team had to create a twist on the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai, using their inspiration from their trip so far, whilst also showing off teamwork and producing to us all a display that would be worthy of the top prize!

With magic tricks and crowd chants for showmanship, it all accompanied serves such as the ‘Sop It To Me Baby’ by 3rd place winners Anthony Guaetta (Twin River Casino, USA) and Daniel Francois (Capella, St Lucia) that saw Chairman’s Reserve Spiced mixed with the 6th edition of 1931 rum, a homemade spiced liqueur and Key Lime juice. Second place had the ‘Chairman’s Spiced Intellect’ presented by Andrew Turner (Milk Bar, UK) and Ron Hillar (Capella, St Lucia). They shook up a blend of their homemade spiced syrup, Chairman’s Reserve Forgotten Cask, lime juice, pineapple juice, Angostura bitters and a dash of Chairman’s Reserve Spiced, complete with a pineapple, ginger and rosemary garnish.

presentation

The winning drink though? It was the ‘Helen of Tiki’ by Sharam Mohebbi of OGBG Bar & Restaurant in Sweden and his St Lucian counterpart Stephen Peter. Mixing Chairman’s Reserve Original and Chairman’s Reserve Spiced with Caribbean sherbet, ginger spice and passion fruit plus freshly squeezed lime, it won the judges plaudits! Earning them a cash prize, trophies and a trip for Sharam back to St Lucia, and Stephen to Sweden, plus local television coverage, it’s meant a truly well-deserved effort from both the winning team and all participants in placing them on the map when it comes to the Mai Tai cocktail!

Look out for the 2018 Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai season as more countries become involved with the challenge, as well as plenty of opportunities to experience a variety of Mai Tai twists, or indeed you can create Sharam’s and Stephen’s today!

Winning Cocktail
‘Culture Paradise’


40ml Chairman’s Reserve Original

30ml Chairman’s Reserve Spiced
30ml Caribbean Sherbet
20ml Ginger spice & passionfruit
20ml Freshly squeezed lime

Shaken over ice and served within a bowl or goblet. 

For more information on St Lucia, visit here.
Learn more about Chairman’s Reserve by visiting here.
To experience Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina, visit here.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.