Bartenders benefit from El Dorado training
September 21, 2012
Bartenders benefit from El Dorado training

Vincentian bartenders were the recipients of free bar-tending training last week Thursday and Friday at sessions organised by El Dorado Rums, in conjunction with Gonsalves Liquors.{{more}}

The training sessions, led by El Dorado Rums international brand ambassador Stefanie Holt, took place at Paradise Beach Hotel conference room (Villa), and in Bequia at Mango’s bar/restaurant.

Holt said that the sessions, which focused on the usage of rum in drinks and cocktails, were designed to give participants “a flavour of what’s happening in the rest of the world to do with rum”.

The main event of the training sessions was rum-tasting – teaching participants to recognise the differences in flavour and smell among several varieties of rum.

It also included a brief history in rum-making, modern day processing and ageing, and advice on the suitability of the various rums in different drinks/cocktails.

Before arriving in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Holt travelled to Jamaica and St Maarten with Sheldon Carew, sales manager with Demerara Distillers Ltd., to conduct training sessions there.

“I think people in the Caribbean don’t appreciate what they have in rum,” said Holt.

She explained that in London (UK), the latest trend within the industry is to create signature drinks using cocktails.

“London … leads the way for cocktails and drinks trends. Even people in New York are looking to London,” said Holt.

“Rum is the best tasting spirit in the world,” she insisted. “It’s exotic, cool, and it’s coming up!”

Holt also said that she is scheduled to make another Caribbean trip next spring, so it is likely that the team will return to St Vincent and the Grenadines to do more training sessions.

“I’m really impressed by the bartenders over here,” she revealed. “They’ve got a really good palate… [and] they understand the balance between sweet and sour.”

Additionally, Holt said that she has found that in some of the more popular tourist destinations, the increase in overseas visitors has “ruined” the art of mixing drinks.

“They now just blend everything, and everything is super sweet … not balanced,” she said. “Here [in SVG] they’re using fresh fruit … and I really hope they maintain that.”

Alicia Sardine, representative from Gonsalves Liquors, also assisted at the training sessions.

She thanked the El Dorado Rums/ Demerara Distillers Ltd. team for giving participants the opportunity to increase their knowledge of rums and drinks mixing.

Sardine also urged participants to take away as much as they could from the training sessions, explaining that good knowledge of “mixology” is a “useful” skill to have within the tourism and hospitality industries.(JV)