Remixing Your Summer 2020 VibesThursday, July 09, 2020
The 2020 Jamaican summer has made a complete 360, and understandably so due to the ongoing global pandemic. A year ago, the millennials (in age and in mindset) were getting ready to enjoy the party season, and all participating brands that supported these events aligned their marketing budgets to present a one-of-a-kind experience for patrons. This year, we feel the lull in the economy, as in fact, these events fuelled revenues across all major sectors including the bar and beverage industry. With no breakfast parties, day raves, or weekends to go to, the summer's entertainment scene may appear, for want of a better word, dismal. There are conversations regarding drive-in/drive thru events; however, the responsibility of marshalling no drinking and driving may be a complex task for our promoters and may require some considered thought and buy-in from the relevant stakeholders. That aside, what else can we do to get together during this time of social distancing? We already partook of the usual Zoom Happy Hours and the 'Me, my glass and I' times, so what else is there to do?
Why not do your own backyard BBQ/cookout with a few friends, bring back a little house party vibe — you could think of interesting themes like Hawaiian, a colour-coded mask event, or BYoB (of course, including the mandatory wearing of masks and limiting the number of people in attendance), or just have a chilling-at-home kind of vibe. Whatever you decide, ensure there is enough food and water available for your guests. Just in case you might not be outsourcing the bar, you might want to consider your beverage offering for the event and, if possible, hiring a bartender for the day to assist with preparing the cocktails. This week we share with you some spirited suggestions about how to enhance your at-home summer vibes series.
Lighten the Vibes
The summer's blaze provides enough heat, so why not cool down the vibes with some refreshing cocktails, a chilled beer, or a chilled glass of wine? These drinks are always welcomed. Over the past weeks, we have shared so many cocktail alternatives with you and how to make them. For summer, we recommend trying a Piña Colada — 2 oz coconut rum, 2 oz piña colada mix, 2 oz pineapple juice, ½ oz plain syrup, add ice and blend; or, a frozen Strawberry Daiquiri — 1 ½ oz overproof rum, 2 oz strawberry mix, ¼ oz fresh lime juice and ½ oz plain syrup, add ice and blend; or a frozen Margarita — 1 ½ oz white tequila, 1 oz triple sec, ½ oz fresh lime juice, add plain syrup to taste, then add ice and blend — serve in a sugar- or salt-rimmed margarita glass.
Beers and wines are easy! Grab a few bottles of Red Stripe light beer or a combination of any of its flavours – sorrel, lemon or watermelon. For your wine selection, think light-bodied dry wines like pinot grigio, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc or a Provence rosé. Balance the offering with some pink or red Moscato and you are all set!
No Frilly Drinks for 'We'
If you and your crew are not the cocktail-drinking type, but prefer to sip and hold a reasoning, of course at a distance, in addition to liking the drinks that you like, we still have a few suggestions for you. We know the usual spirited sips of rum, whiskey and cognac are high on the list, so we will keep our recommendations limited to those categories. Enjoy one of Jamaica's finest products: Worthy Park Single Estate Rum, Monymusk Classic Gold Rum or Appleton Estate Reserve Rum. Whiskey: Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey makes a delish accompaniment to BBQ or grilled food; and The Glenlivet 12 YO smooths out the experience. Martell Blue Swift or Courvoisier VS adds an elevated elegance to the conversation. No matter your selection, keep your servings to 1 to 2 ounces of alcohol per drink and remember, you must be 18 years or older to consume alcohol in Jamaica. Please drink responsibly. Cheers!
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. This month, let's talk region; let's talk Provence Rosé. After all, we are heading into summer! Wine purveyors, we are looking forward to your 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on IG @debbiansm #barnoneja.
An Alumna of the US Sommelier Association
CEO of the Academy of Bartending, Spirits & Wines
President, Jamaica Union of Bartenders and Mixologists (JUBAM) Limited
Marketing Studies Lecturer – The University of Technology, Jamaica
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