News
May 30, 2014
St Vincent Brewery trains local bartenders

Local bartenders have been encouraged to treat their profession as a serious business and not like a side job that they go to in their spare time.

The advice, which was coupled with training, came as the St Vincent Brewery Limited continues to do its part in ensuring that local bartenders are kept up to speed with {{more}}the latest trends.

On Wednesday, May 21, International Brand ambassador and mixologist of Mount Gay Rum Barbadian Chesterfield Browne visited St Vincent and the Grenadines, where he did mixology and other types of training with about 35 local bartenders.

Browne, who is of world renown, said that his visit saw him teaching bartending techniques, how to mix drinks using different ingredients, the history of the craftsmanship (bartending) and why Mount Gay Rum, “is what it is.”

Browne said that his lesson focused on the use of fresh ingredients in cocktails, while he stressed the importance of bartenders operating professionally.

“I talked a lot about how to use fresh ingredients in your cocktails and stepping up the practice of mixology in St Vincent. I also wanted the bartenders present to step up their game and if they were not doing this, behave as a bartender should,” said Browne, who stressed that paying attention to using fresh ingredients, good products and the way you dress is very important in bartending.

“The way you carry yourself, pull your pants up, go to work and know that this is a profession and that it’s not just something that you do in your spare time,” said Browne. he added that he tried to explain to bartenders that chefs work in the kitchen and while a chef works for thousands of dollars, at times, a “bartender works for crap.”

“Why is that? It’s because of the way he carries himself, because most of the times it’s the bar making more money than the kitchen anyway, so why are you not the man making some of that money as well? Because you need to understand that it’s a profession and step up,” said Browne.

Browne said that bartenders must approach their work with pride; “When you create a cocktail, create it with pride, when you send a cocktail out, send that cocktail out with pride; let the customer know that they are having something fantastic,” said Browne, who noted that these are some of the things that he tried instilling in the trainees.

He said that apart from theoretical work, he showed the local men two cocktails: a punch from Barbados and a cocktail called Virgin Honey. Browne has created many recipes and has his own rum punch called “Chester’s Own.”

“I showed them the way to use fresh herbs and fresh ingredients, cucumbers, fresh pine and stuff to bring out the freshness in the cocktails and the way not to overpower the base spirit, which is the rum or whatever the base product that they are using.”

Browne said that he is a self-taught professional, who also learnt from his grandmother.

He said that he has worked for Mount Gay for 20 years, but before that he was employed in the hospitality industry in Barbados.

“Most of the stuff I would say comes from within myself; it’s that desire to always want to do something different and step out on the limb and live on the edge,” said Browne. He also revealed that he likes to work with people who are now getting into creating cocktails. Browne has trained persons all over the world including persons in China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Europe and all over and the Caribbean for Mount Gay Rum.

“What we want to do in the Caribbean is work closer with the people. I want to work closer with St Vincent because St Vincent to me is a place where my heart is. I’ll be back here in the next few weeks for Carnival and that’s where I am every year, so I really want to work more with St Vincent. I want to walk into a bar in St Vincent and see 100 per cent professionalism coming from that bar”, said Browne.

Meanwhile, Operations Commercial manager at the St Vincent Brewery Limited Shafia London-Williams said that the Brewery is responsible for distributing Mount Gay locally on the mainland.

“Chester is world renowned in his field including winning World’s Best Mixologist, up against top trained international mixologists, so we wanted to share the rich knowledge that we have right in our backyard,” said London.