JUBAM Bartender Expo, shaken and stirred! Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Jamaica Union of Bartenders and Mixologists (JUBAM) secured a section of the Police Officers’ Club in St Andrew for a non-traditional Sunday service.

’Twas the grand finale of their third annual Jamaica Bartender Week. The Jamaica Bartender Expo and the annual ‘Bartender of the Year’ competition were among the day’s highlights.

The craft was on show with corporate support from several brands, including Select Brands, Supligen Max, Lion Pride, Serge Island, Delite, title sponsor, J Wray, and Nephew.

L: Mixologist Captain St Aubyn Kidd. R: Second-place finisher Kerry Ann Stephenson creates her concoction during the competition.

Patrons filled the space in anticipation of what’s new and next in the bartending, cocktails, and mixology arena.

That new and next came in the form of four new bartenders and beverages aplenty, and the recognition of bartenders’ role in promoting responsible drinking practices, and shifting culture.

Industry leaders, J Wray & Nephew Limited (JWN), who championed the promotion of educational resources on responsible serving and consumption best practices, were naturally on hand to support.

Supligen Max Brand Manager Deidra Gray with her favourite sip of the day. (Photo: Contributed)

JWN Channel and Customer Marketing Director Leleika-Dee Barnes emphasised the importance of nurturing a symbiotic relationship between JWN and the bar community.

According to Barnes, the ‘continued partnership is a symbiotic relationship that protects the integrity of the spirits industry.’

From a sweeter point of view, Deidra Gray, the brand manager of Supligen Max, was enthusiastic about this year’s sponsorship.

The champion mixologist Dwayne “Swizzle Mixer” Johnson (2nd R), holder of the Bartender of the Year title, posed alongside colleagues (L-R) Antuwon Dixon, Kerry Ann Stephenson, and Raldeno “Deno the Mixologist” Forbes. (Photos: Contributed)

She noted that ‘despite setbacks that briefly halted its launch last year, Supligen Max is now on the market and bigger than ever.’

Mixologist and second-place finisher in the 2023 BOTY competition Dr Mathieu Duval, joined competition adjudicators, JUBAM President, Dr Debbian Spence-Minott, and J Wray & Nephew Academy Lead Instructor Sharmon Smith-Hinds.

Points were allocated for presentation, creativity, and flavour profile.

Antuwon Dixon finished third with 313 points. He was ousted by Raldeno “Deno the Mixologist” Forbes, who finished second with 339 points.

The winner, Dwayne “Swizzle Mixer” Johnson, left a lasting impression with his signature cocktail, ‘Boop Boop’. Johnson claimed the top spot with 379 points.

Reflecting on his victory, Johnson, a resident mixologist at Republic Jamaica, told Loop News that his success stems from a combination of “experience and creativity… it’s easy”.