PR – It’s a busy day at the swim-up bar and bartenders Kareem Forsyth and Micah Lewis pivot left for the vodka, and right for the liqueur on the semi-circular bar as though it were a well- rehearsed bit of choreography with each predicting where the other will go, as they speedily mix delightful cocktails requested by their earnest guests.
This is just a glimpse of the hours of tact, communication, customer interaction, and mixology, required at the luxury all-Inclusive resort operation. A ‘passion and respect’ for service is what Kareem believes has resulted in his success in the recent resort cocktail competition – a competition currently being held at each of the regional resorts to determine a new Signature Welcome Cocktail for this 40th Anniversary year of the esteemed brand. Apart from bragging rights, each winner is being rewarded with US$400 and a weekend for two at any Sandals or Beaches Resort.
The criteria included presentation, colour, taste, inspiration and functionality as this cocktail will be served to all guests arriving at the resort, and therefore serves as the first official ‘taste’ of their Sandals Grenada getaway.
Leading the judging panel was Food & Beverage Director Rodrigo Maza, who shared, “This cocktail needs to hit the nail on the head, we are looking for the best not only in presentation and taste but also function, with a recipe simple enough for the other bartenders to learn easily and that can be quickly replenished and poured.”
Kareem’s winning cocktail “Spice Luv” was inspired by the resort itself. He noted, ‘Sandals Grenada is truly an exotic paradise, with its remarkable natural beauty, pristine beach and world-class team members, the exotic spicy ginger and the citrusy tang of lime encapsulates all of this, it represents us.’
The ingredients are ginger beer, dark rum, lime juice, simple syrup, apple sour and blue curacao- all shaken and poured over ice and garnished with a lime wedge and/ or mint.
Not only was the cocktail symbolically fitting, it proved to match the taste of guests; competition judge, longtime Sandals guest, Jean Chatterjee, gave high scores to “Spice Luv”, ‘It’s gingery but exceptionally refreshing.’ Similarly, another judge, Entertainment Manager, Jazz Johnson, shared, ‘It has a pleasant ginger kick and seems easy to make.’
A close contender was Razim Joseph, with the “Spice Islander”, a royal yellow cocktail made with cinnamon syrup, gold rum, lime juice and ginger beer.
All in all, it was a competitive but encouraging exercise; ‘It was really heartwarming to see the level of passion, creativity and talent displayed by our 12 team members who took part. Each cocktail had something special about it, while there was only one winner for the competition, I feel the resort won by now having so many new creative ideas for possible daily cocktail specials,’ shared Operations Manager, Jamie Charles.