'Skill & Steady' with KevynV

'Skill & Steady' with KevynV

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Dr Debbian Spence-Minott

Thursday, October 01, 2020

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Think: Rhythm and booze; melodies and cocktails. These descriptors remind us of the intricate connection between music and beverage. Indeed, they are critical parts of the entertainment sphere and often the beverage of choice becomes intertwined in the lyrics these artistes create. This week, Kevin “KevynV” Blair, one-half of Voicemail, visited the Academy of Bartending to demonstrate that he is not only musically talented, but his cocktail creation skills are aligned with his new mantra of being skilled and steady. We have no doubt about his ability, as during the early phases of the lockdown, KevynV entered a bartender mixology challenge. While we were unable to taste, the cocktail sure looked good! To provide support, the academy assigned bartender/mixologist Fabian Black to KevynV's mixology quest. 

Cocktail 1

KevynV dubbed this concoction Stay Ready and described the finished drink as one especially for the ladies — elegant, crisp, and clean with vibrancy. The cocktail was made with 1 ½ oz Absolut Vodka, 2 oz sour apple liqueur and ½ oz simple syrup. At the end the cocktail was garnished with a red Maraschino cherry.

Cocktail 2

The White Liver — This creation morphed into a shot. KevynV used ¼ oz each of Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum, Cherry brandy, Triple Sec and clear syrup. A splash of lime was also added for balance.

Cocktail 3

The Up & Ready was described as an easy mix. KevynV indicated that we should fill our rocks glass with ice, add 2 oz of Whispering Breeze Coconut Rum Liqueur and drizzle strawberry syrup onto the ice. Ooh-la-la delicious!

Cocktail 4

The Shhh, Whisper — is dedicated to those soft moments that relax and recharge. KevynV decided to demonstrate his creativity by skilfully executing a frozen layered cocktail. The three-layered libation comprised of: Watermelon & strawberry mix; mango mix infused with Whispering Breeze Coconut Rum liqueur, and piña colada mix with blue curaçao. A cherry on top completes this charmer.

Cocktail 5

KevynV's finale reflects his personal love for cognac. The Martell VS was poured neat into a brandy snifter, a few pieces of crushed ice added for dilution and cooling, topped with a splash of ginger beer and garnished with a lime wheel. This cocktail is KevynV's Skillache!

What's new for KevynV?

KevynV described his latest project, a new single released on Friday, September 25, 2020 called Skill & Steady. He was abuzz with excitement as he shared how well the track has been doing. Deejays as far away as Dubai and Turkey have already begun to play the single with great rotation. The Skill and Steady track was added to the Spotify playlist and is now ranked within the top four dancehall and afrobeat hits. He is elated about the quick successes being reaped and looks forward to the continued support of his friends and family. The conversation could not come to an end without KevynV sending a shout-out to his wife and two beautiful girls.

Cheers to making more beautiful cocktails and, of course, music, KevynV!

Readers' Grapevine Club: If you are new to wines and want to join us on our wine discovery, then this is for you. On the third Thursday of each month, I will highlight your feedback on our grape variety/vine of the month. For October, we will focus on Argentina's hot Malbec varietal. Looking forward to your feedback and comments!

Readers' Feedback:

Extraordinary wonder and joy are interwoven through ordinary life; seek them relentlessly. Please share with me your wine, spirits and cocktail experiences or comments on the above article at debbiansm@gmail.com, or follow me on IG @debbiansm #barnoneja.


Dr Debbian Spence-Minott
An Alumna of the US Sommelier Association
CEO of the Academy of Bartending, Spirits & Wines
President, Jamaica Union of Bartenders and Mixologists (JUBAM) Limited

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