Happiest Hour! 22 bartenders graduated from Bartending “Academy” Loop Jamaica

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Loop Lifestyle

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15 of the 22 students that graduated from “The Academy” shared the spotlight with their instructor Omega Findlay (2nd L), Maurice Chung, president of Jamaica Union of Bartenders and Mixologists (JUBAM) Limited Bartender Council, Dr Debbian Spence-Minott, CEO and head of The Academy of Bartending Spirits & Wines and Donna E Brown, attorney-at-law and guest speaker. (Photos: O’Neil Grant)

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It was a momentous occasion for the 2022 cadre of bartenders exiting the Academy of Bartending Spirits & Wines and entering the world of mixology.

Only 15 of the 22-member graduating class accepted their diplomas at a graduation ceremony held in their honour at “The Academy’s” Red-Hills-Road institution.

Dr Debbian Spence-Minott, CEO and Head of The Academy of Bartending Spirits & Wines cheered on the cohort for graduating with such fortitude.

Minott also thanked the corporate support “The Academy” received by way of Select Brands and Worthy Park Estate brands.

In her address to the students, she defined “a bartender as one with a rigid code of ethics whose work demands a clear head and a steady hand. Bartenders are deemed to be all-rounders: counsellors and friends” – attributes she’s recognised in the students over their period of study.

Natalya Atkinson and Dwayne Anderson relished their time at “The Academy” and lauded the institution for providing them with all the resources they needed to succeed with their student testimonials.

They spoke ahead of

Donna E Brown, attorney-at-law and corporate trainer, was the guest speaker.

She was resplendent in red and in her address to the small group of students and their families, Brown commended the class for completing the course, despite their differing challenges.

She also reminded members of the cohort that they are now ambassadors, adding that “…the academy has positioned you to work in the tourism, entertainment and food and beverage industry”.

“A good drink compliments the meal. If the bar does well, the restaurant does well”, she noted.

Brown also stated some facts by noting that The Planning Institute of Jamaica for the year 2021-22 recorded hotels and restaurants had the strongest growth of 330.7% over the previous period, which, for the graduates, meant now is as great a time as ever to enter the industry.

The majority of the 22 twenty-two graduates have already landed jobs at hotels, restaurants, and bars across the island.

There were some bright sparks, too, that exceeded in the categories of Wines, Jamaican Rums, Cocktail Development: Showmanship & Engagement, and Bar Operation & Mixology, among other things. They too were duly awarded and rewarded.

Each graduate received branded paraphernalia from Rum-Bar Rum, Rumfire, Appleton Estate, Wray and Nephew and Campari.

Five students were designated a “Smooth Operator” because of their composure during the Academy’s Pressure Test Practical exam, and thus received bottles of vodka and rum from Select Brands.

Then there were gift buckets, filled with Worthy Park Estate products and branded items that included Rum-Bar Rum Cream.

Next on the agenda for “The Academy” is the first day of Jamaica’s Bartenders Week, slated for March 6-12, 2023.

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