Archive | April, 2013

Oracle launched for Tobago Fashion Coda

20 Apr

In the midst of the Jazz season in Tobago, a fashion event called the Tobago Coda will take place at the Magdalena Grand. The show will take place on Thursday April 25 and will showcase designs from a number of designers in Trinidad and Tobago.

There promises to be an after party at which guests will no doubt sip a special cocktail made for the event called the Oracle.

The cocktail was launched this past week at the House of Angostura, the company responsible for creating the cocktail.

The cocktail was concocted by mixologist Raymond Edwards, and is made with White Oak Rum, Angostura Orange Bitters and lots of citrusy fruit.



1 ½ oz White Oak Rum

¾ oz Bols Grenadine Syrup

½ oz Pink Grapefruit Juice

½ oz Fresh Lime Juice

10-12 Fresh mint leaves

2 dashes Angostura® orange bitters


Recipe: Zacapa Wake Up Call

20 Apr

ImageThis is Karlina Permell’s winning cocktail for the second wave of the local leg of the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender competition.

Zacapa Wake Up Call

2 oz Ron Zacapa Centenario 23
2 oz fresh Melon
1/2oz lavender infused syrup
1/4 oz Cointreau
1 bar spoon vanilla sugar

Place all ingredients into shaker with ice, shake and pour. Garnish with
Melon balls.

Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year: Karlina wins second leg of Trinidad Wave

20 Apr

Stephon Scott – judge, Mario Navarro (lead judge, Ron Zacapa Global Brand
Ambassador), Karlina Permell – winner, Jaime Garcia – local brand
Ambassador, Kathryn Gray – A.S. Bryden Diageo Reserve relationship Manager

Karlina Permell emerged the winner of the second wave of the local leg of DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS BARTENDER OF THE YEAR, the world’s largest and most credible mixology competition, recently held at Texas de Brazil Churrascaria, Fiesta Plaza, Movie towne, Port of Spain.

As the competition moved to the second wave of training and competition, local bar tenders were schooled by Ron Zacapa Global Brand Ambassador Mario Navarro for two days. During the sessions, several of the country’s best bar tenders were challenged to create not only tasty cocktails, but to enhance the overall experience for their patrons, all the while encouraging responsible drinking.

Ms. Permell represented Trinidad Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre in the competition and suitably impressed the judging panel with her cocktails entitled “Zacapa Wake Up Call”, “Zacapa Boost” and “Zacapa Glory”.


Kester Blake representing Zen Nightclub and Trevon Pascal of Zanzibar tied for second place, while Richard Atkins of Zanzibar came in third with his cocktails “Red Woman”, Passion, Spice and Paradise” and “April Mornings”.


Scores from this challenge will go towards selecting the local representative to the 2013 Global Final in which over 50 bartenders from around the world will compete for the coveted title of Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year, which will take place aboard boutique Azamara Club Cruise’s ship, Azamara Journey, from 4th – 9th July 2013.

“This is a great learning experience for us all, I have been really impressed with the level of interest and standard of presentation from the competitors” said Mario Navarro, lead judge. “ Also I noticed that in both the first and second wave ladies emerged the winners, that’s an interesting situation, I am very eager to return to Trinidad for future events in this competition.” he continued.

The third wave of the competition will be held next month with the theme “Hollywood, Bollywood, Hong Kong”, where the focus will be on the art of cocktail presentation and service featuring the brand Johnnie Walker Blue Label with a visit by the Regional Brand Ambassador Arturo Savage.

Follow the competition on Facebook at the ‘Global WORLD CLASS Finals’ page: and

Dinner with Ron Zacapa

11 Apr

The second wave of the Trinidad and Tobago leg of the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year competition was held on Tuesday. The featured beverage was Ron Zacapa.

Mario Navarro, Global Brand Ambassador for the Guatemalan rum was in Trinidad to conduct training and oversee the competition which was won by Karlina Permell.

On Tuesday night, Navarro hosted a private dinner at Texas de Brazile, where specially invited guests, including yours truly, enjoyed a tasting session of the Ron Zacapa 23 and XO rums as well as a specially prepared menu of dishes made with the rums.


The evening started out with signature cocktails from last year’s local finalist, the delightfully entertaining Stephon Scott.

ImageIn the private dining area, Navarro walked us through a brief history of Ron Zacapa, which he said has started the conversation about rum as a premium beverage.

He said the rum differs from others because it is aged above the clouds, 2300m above the clouds, which allows for a slow ageing process. The Master Blender is  Loreno Vasquez, who Navarro said, ensures the rum is blended to perfection.

He also explained the handwoven Petate Band that adorns every bottle, saying that is harkens back to the Mayan influence and with the purchase of each bottle, money is used to send children in Guatemala to school.


Soon it was down to the best part, the tasting. The Zacapa 23, Navarro explained, uses four casks and is about character. On the nose, there were scents of raisins, spices, chocolate, and as my husband acutely recognised, it smelt like fruit cake. Navarro said it reminded him of rum cakes, which is basically the same thing.


On the palate, the 23 awakened all the senses with the spices, chocolate mingling with a distinct almond taste which Navarro was surprised that we picked up.  The rum was very smooth and, as Navarro explained to me afterwards, is perfect for a younger drinker between 30 and 40 years old, who wants to discover new things and does not like to show off but simply wants to enjoy his drink neat.

The XO, he said, appeals more to women and is targeted to a over 50 consumer. It is more elegant, he said, is suited to a quiet evening at home and goes well with desserts such as chocolate.

On the nose the XO exudes dried apricots, nuts, and citrus. Smooth on the palate, there were flavours of chocolate, dried fruit, and spices.


A complete meal made with Ron Zacapa rums followed the tasting. Appetizers were a choice between Chicken Kebab with a Ron Zacapa drizzle or  Zacapa Lobster Bisque.



The Main Course was a choice between Papillote Tilapia with coconut spiced mushroom or a grilled top sirloin  smothered with caramelized onions infused with Zacapa 23 and served with garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans.


Dessert was either a Zacapa Papaya Cream made with ripened paw paws, cinnamon, vanilla ice cream and Zacapa XO or Chocolate Mousse Cake with Zacapa XO.


Rum dispute heating up

9 Apr

Caribbean governments are being asked to hold their hands on their threat to take the US to the WTO over subsidies its territories are using to grant global rum manufacturers tax breaks.

Only time will tell if the Caribbean governments will listen but right now things are heating up. Check out these stories below.

From Global Posts: Don’t go to WTO

From the Trinidad Express: Losing faith in Uncle Sam

From the Washington Diplomat: Misguided Attack


Malibu gets a makeover

5 Apr

Iconic rum brand Malibu has been given a makeover for the first time in over 30 years. The infamous white bottle with its much loved palm tree logo has been redesigned to make it easier to hold and more comfortable to pour. The change comes 33 years after its launch in the UK in 1980, an era which was synonymous with the brand.

Produced in Barbados since 1893, the original Caribbean rum will now be available in a slender, stylish and contemporary bottle, just in time for the summer season. The bottle redesign will also include a new clear cut-out window at the bottom of the bottle highlighting the fresh, clear rum and creating added stand-out on shelf.

“We’ve refined everything – the logo, symbol and the typography – and the bottle shape itself. The new bottle is more slender with high shoulders, giving it a distinctive, modern feel that appeals to everyone” says Patrick Venning, Marketing Director at Malibu.

Die-hard fans who have had a sneak-peek at the new bottle say it’s a knockout with its more dynamic, contemporary and functional design.

Country star bottles new rum in Barbados

5 Apr

Country star Kenny Chesney has thrown his gallon hat into the rum business. The star reportedly will launch his own premium blended-rum brand, Blue Chair Bay, when he kicks off his annual summer tour in May.

The rums, which will sell for $18-$19 a bottle, include a light, white rum (aimed at women), ranked “excellent” in a recent beverage competition; a coconut rum; and a coconut rum spiced with Caribbean cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and pimento. Chesney also enlisted a master mixologist to create Blue Chair Bay rum cocktails.

Chesney says he was deeply involved in creating the blend, the taste and even the logo and said he tried to capture the way he felt about the Caribbean in his rum.

“I’m trying to bottle all those emotions up,” he says. “The way the sun moves across the sky, the warm air that makes the skin breath, the essence of lazy afternoons on a boat. I tried to create the rum that I want to drink.”

He says the rum was produced at a distillery on a Barbados beach just yards from crashing waves.

Source: wbir