Taylor Rae of New York City is the winner of the Mount Gay National Championship in the Taste of Summer Competition walking away with US$3,000.
Rae’s cocktail, Citizen’s Arrest, had a strong Caribbean flavour since she used rum punch in her blend. She was dancing to the music and singing along to Lil Rick’s soca song Way Up in fine Bajan style as she prepared the drink. The winner was also very impressive in the way she interacted with both the judges and patrons as she explained her drink. She was the clear crowd favourite as there were screams and shouts at the end of her presentation.
Six international mixologists/bartenders, all hailing from the United States, were chosen from 140 entries. They competed at Fusions Rooftop, Limegrove Centre, St James, last Friday, August 16 which was celebrated as National Rum Day.
The competitors were judged in five areas: flavour, appearance, bartender presentation, imagination and sustainable elements. Each of the six finalists had ten minutes to make and present their cocktail to three judges: Emily Arseneau of the US Collective 1806; Basil Jemmott, a chief mixologist and tutor at the Barbados Community College’s Hotel PomMarine; and Ryan Adamson, Mount Gay’s head mixologist.
The other five competitors were given prize money of US$1,000 each and patrons were treated to samples of the cocktails as the judges graded the drinks.
The competitors honoured a commitment to sustainability with Mount Gays Partnership with Oceana, an organization which protects and restores oceans around the globe. Each cocktail had to meet three rules: (1) be made from either Mount Gay Black Barrel or Mount Gay XO; (2) have a sustainability angle to honour the partnership with Oceana; and (3) have the taste of summer. (IMC)