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mojito

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									P.2C                                                                                                                                          Sunday, August                   30     -   September                5 , 2 0 0 9 • Living




Mastering the
mojito
  T     wenty-eight bartenders from across the island accepted the challenge from
        Caribbean Producers Jamaica (CPJ) Limited to participate in the inaugural
staging of the Bacardi Mojito Competition at Iberostar Rose Hall Resort & Spa
in Montego Bay on August 23, and at the end of two gruelling rounds of mixol-
ogy, 32-year-old O’Brian Jackson from Couples Swept Away emerged as the
island’s master mojito mixologist.
   With steady and assured hands, Jackson mixed, poured and stirred his way to
the narrowest of victories over Roy Lawrence of Grand Palladium Jamaica
Resort and Spa. Shane Reid of Rose Hall Resorts was adjudged third. The con-
testants were evaluated by a panel of judges led by Jorge Lopez, president of the
Puerto Rican Bartenders Association, and local epicureans and cocktail connois-
seurs Jacqui Tyson, Jacqui Sinclair, Leachim Semaj and Eva Myers.
   Taking on the challenge in groups of four, the contestants were given 15 min-
utes to prepare all their ingredients behind the scenes before facing the judges and
the audience at their stations. They then had two seven-minute segments to make
six classic/original mojitos and six creative mojito concoctions of their own.
   Widely regarded as one of the quintessential summer cocktails, the mojito has
its origin in Cuba. It is traditionally made using six ingredients: white rum, sugar,
lime, soda water, ice and spearmint leaves. The first mojito was made using
Bacardi rum, and according to Devon Reid, sales and marketing manager of CPJ
— the local distributors of Bacardi — it’s not a true mojito if it doesn’t contain
Bacardi.
   “We’re looking to recapture the authentic mojito experience. Bacardi has been
around since 1862 and is the very essence of the mojito...we are promoting the
mojito experience in its purest form,” stated Reid.
   The name mojito is believed to have come from either a corruption of mojadi-
to (a little wet), a diminutive of mojo (a Cuban seasoning sauce) or an African From left: Devon Reid (left), sales and marketing manager of Caribbean Producers Jamaica (CPJ) Limited, the local distributors of Bacardi, and Tom Tyler
                                                                                      (centre), co-chairman of CPJ, present O’Brian Jackson (right) of Couples Swept Away with his cheque for $100,000 for winning the inaugural Bacardi Mojito
word that means “to cast a spell”. O’Brian Jackson, who walked away with the Competition held at Iberostar Rose Hall Resort & Spa in Montego Bay recently.
grand prize of $100,000, will soon have an opportunity to cast his mojito spell on
the region in the Caribbean mojito competition. Prior to that, however, he will
have the opportunity to improve his skills by observing the Puerto Rico national
competition.
                                         TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MARK THOMPSON

                                                                                    Shane Reid
                                                                                    of Rose Hall
                                                                                    Resorts
                                                                                    poured his
                                                                                    way to third
                                                                                    place.




                                                                                                                                                                                                         Onel Cahaun of Rose Hall Resorts
                                                                                                                                                                                                         adds hot pepper sauce to his creative
                                                                                                                                                                                                         mojito.




                                                                                                                                                                 Stacie Little (right) of TGI Friday’s
                                                                                                                                                                 adds Bacardi to her mojito under the
                                                                                                                                                                 watchful eyes of head judge Jorge
                                                                                                                                                                 Lopez, president of the Puerto Rican
                                                                                                                                                                 Bartenders Association.




                                                                                                                                                                                                         Andrew Williams of Iberostar puts the
                                                                                                                                                                                                         finishing touches on his creative moji-
                                                                                                                                                                                                         to.




                                                                                                   Although the Bacardi Mojito
                                                                                                   Competition was not about
                                                                                                   flair, second place winner Roy
                                                                                                   Lawrence of Grand Palladium
                                                                                                   Jamaica Resort and Spa car-
                                                                                                   ried out a neat balancing act
                                                                                                   with a Bacardi bottle while
                                                                                                   executing push-ups.




Widely regarded as one of the quintessential summer cocktails, the mojito                                                                                          The contestants seen here were given 15 minutes to prepare all their ingre-
has its origin in Cuba. It is traditionally made using six ingredients:                                                                                            dients behind the scenes before facing the judges and the audience at their
Bacardi white rum, sugar, lime, soda water, ice and spearmint leaves.                                                                                              mixing stations.

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