Mixing with The Best
Guest Post by Sarah James
The British Virgin Islands are fast gaining a reputation as a haven for food lovers looking for a holiday destination that allows them to indulge in the gastronomic delights of the islands’ fresh produce, quality cuisine, fabulous restaurants and potent rum cocktails.
This summer The British Virgin Islands will come alive with food, drink and celebration as Islanders and visitors alike take to the streets to celebrate the anniversary of the 60th Emancipation Festival. The streets of The Islands will be transformed by food and drink fairs, music, parades, street jamming, gospel celebrations and much more.
The ten best mixologists will be selected by a first-class team of cocktail tasters and will receive a BVI goody bag. The top cocktail connoisseur will then be chosen to receive the top prize – round trip flights to The BVI with five nights’ accommodation at Biras Creek and two nights at Oil Nut Bay.
During the two weeks of festivities (from 28 July – 9 August), anyone can join in with the BVI discussion online by using the hashtag #BVIParty to share competition entries, Caribbean recipes and party ideas on social media.
While The BVI Emancipation festival traditionally celebrates the abolition of slavery, this year it will give us Islanders the chance to showcase the cultural and culinary history of our people resulting in a two week party atmosphere full of fun and amazing food and drink that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
So…..to get you started, I spent (what is now slightly hazy!) a Sunday evening mixing up rum cocktails for my family (all over 18!)
The rum used was Prussers. My grandfather was a merchant seaman, having joined up at the age of 14 just in time for the 1st World War, and this was the rum of choice of the sailors (the Prusser being the ships purser).
I started by half filling a cocktail shaker with ice, then I added 1 and a half ounces of the rum and 1 ounce of Campari. Gave it a shake and poured. On its own this mixture was pretty powerful; I love the bitterness of Campari, but it was tempered by the sweetness from the rum. I think that this would be great on a cold night as the warmth of the rum came through after the hit of the Campari.
Inspired by a Venetian Spritz, I then topped it up with some Prosecco for a lighter summer drink. This was well received, my partner also added in a little sugar to adapt it to his taste.
I then did pretty much the same with Aperol instead of Campari. The Aperol gives the same orange hit, but is sweeter in itself. This too was consumed pretty rapidly!
Finally, I heated 30g of sugar with 25ml of water to make a sugar syrup and let it cool. I squeezed half a lime into the cocktail shaker, bashed some mint in a pestle and mortar and added this, added a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters and an once and a half of the rum together with ice cubes and shook well. Poured, and again topped up with the Prosecco. This was utterly delicious and our favourite; although that could be because it was the 4th one!
If you think that you have what it takes to be a top rum mixologist, why not enter? Head on over to www.bvitourism.co.uk/bviparty