A mixology session
What do you get when you mix the Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum Celebration Super Front-line ladies, and a few of Kingston's leading events promoters together in a classroom at the JWN Academy? Well, if you guessed a fun-filled evening in a training session led by JWN Academy Manager Judith Douglas, then you would be right.
On Tuesday, the group gathered to learn more about the art of the rum process or as they call it, "from grass to glass". The group was treated to a condensed version of the formal introductory rum-training seminar that students of the JWN Academy undergo. The seminar covered important details in the rum-making process from fermentation to distillation to the type of barrels used to age the rums at the Appleton Estate plant in St Elizabeth.
They sniffed and sampled a range of Appleton Estate Jamaica rums as the sweet aroma of rum filled the air, and Douglas explained the flavour notes of Appleton Estate's Signature, Reserve, and Rare Blend. To cap off the session, she entreated the group to sip and savour the delight that is the Appleton Estate 21-Year-Old Rum. Likened to an aged Scotch, it is blended with rums 21 years and older. The faces of the true rum connoisseurs lit up as they tasted each.
After the group was thoroughly educated on the theory of rum making, it was time to put this new-found knowledge to good use by recreating some of the Appleton Estate Signature cocktails at the bar at @twentythree.
Bellied up to the bar, the group was given a crash course in four of the brand's signature cocktails - The Epic, The X-Ale, The Estate Daiquiri and Joy's Cocktail (named after Appleton Estate Master Blender Joy Spence). Guided by Appleton Estate trained bartenders Kareen Dixon and Sheldon Spencer, the group learnt about the nuances of the these cocktails and also picked up a few bartending tips.
After watching the cocktails being made and sampling them, came the announcement that they, too, would be getting behind the bar to recreate these cocktails. First up was Shani McGraham-Shirley, who recreated the Estate Daiquiri, followed by Ally-Ann Andrade, who did justice to Joy's Cocktail. Cabana City Reserve's Che Bowen, who seemed to be the life of the party, tried his hand at the Estate Daiquiri - albeit a few missed steps, he completed his cocktail to the delight of everyone. Zoe Arscott proved that she was the master of recreating the X-Ale, and when the bartenders issued the challenge for someone to create their own cocktail on the spot, she was the only one to step up to the plate. Zoe created the Chai Combo - a fruity cocktail using her personal favourite the Appleton Estate Reserve Blend.
The evening ended with bartender Sheldon Spencer sharing and creating for the group his cocktail that is exclusive to the bar at @twentythree, called the Appleton Estate Fire.