The petite Ashley Callender aspires to be one of Barbados’ leading mixologists and she is well on her way.
Today, she showed off her skills with much flair as she served a delicious cocktail made with orange, simple syrup, Mount Gay Rum and Clayton’s Kola Tonic at the launch of the sixth series of the Art of Bartending Seminars.
Callender shared that she recently completed ten weeks of training in Mixology 1 and Customer Service offered under the programme, which she said was an eye-opener.
“I have learnt a lot. I have grown to appreciate locally made rum. It was not something that if I go to a bar I would call for, but being able to go through El Dorado, going through the training seminars with Mount Gay and Cockspur, I have grown to appreciate locally made rum,” she said.
Her enthusiasm is exactly what founder of the Barbados Association of Rum Shops (BARS) and the Art of Bartending Training Course Franklyn Parris is hoping to capture from youth seeking to make a career in bartending, or veterans in the field.
“We are ensuring that in Barbados, by next year, every bartender that is working in either a bar, hotel or restaurant, they have their certificates and they are qualified at what they do,” he said.
This semester, which begins on January 16, will feature new elements including the best tips of the trade on handling beer, gin, tequila, bourbon, brandy, cognac and whiskey, in addition to current courses on rum, vodka and wine.
The students will also learn to master skills in small business management, marketing, event planning, workplace health and safety policies, as well as good customer service.
The Art of Bartending Seminars also feature hands-on training, practical sessions, tastings, tours to facilities, and seminars with brand managers of local rum manufacturers and distributors.