Wed | Oct 18, 2017

GRULAC Sugar Cane Festival excites

Published:Friday | September 22, 2017 | 12:00 AMKrysta Anderson
Gal pals Stephanie Ellis (left) and Kimberly Williams indulge in high spirits.
Tyheissa Williams dresses to impress in her wine-red cocktail dress.
From left: Dominican Republic ambassador to Jamaica José Tomás Ares Germán and Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica Bernardo Guanche Hernández salute to a festive night.
Salsa Jamaica heating up the dance floor.
Panama ambassador to Jamaica, Alexis Eduardo Sandoval Cajar basks in the two-in-one celebration as he cuts his birthday cake.
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It was all 'sweet for my sweet, sugar for my honey' at the re-inauguration of Panama's Sugar Cane Festival, held at the Worthington at Spanish Court last Tuesday night.

Hosted by Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC), headed by the Embassy of Panama to Jamaica, the Sugar Cane Festival is a culmination of 29 Latin American and Caribbean countries with one mission: to give a taste of their culture. Unique by nature, the festival features rum, rum, and - you guessed it - more rum. And after having a hectic day at work, who wouldn't want to lift their 'spirits' to new heights?

The formalities were short and sweet, with guests hearing speeches from Panama Ambassador to Jamaica Alexis Eduardo Sandoval Cajar, who was later surprised with a birthday cake to honour his special day. The chargÈ d'affaires of Nicaragua, Wendy Palma-Beckford; dean of the Diplomatic Corps, JosÈ Tom·s Ares Germ·n; and Ambassador Marcia Gilbert-Roberts, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, also took to the stage to say a few words about the event.

Once the formalities were over, Salsa Jamaica took charge of the dance floor, entertaining the attentive crowd with their routines. They even invited guests to learn a few new steps.

Of course, ambassadors, delegates, and socialites did not hesitate to join in on the drinking festivities. Let's take you on the intoxicating tour. Greeted by Colombia, their coffee rum definitely gave you the boost you so rightfully deserved. Then Panama was next, with their steady seven-year rum.

Across the dance floor, Monymusk represented in palatable style. The Dominican Republic dared to be bold with strong liquor selections. Brazil had one of the best sippers of the night with their signature mixed drink garnished with sugar cane. Mexico had drinks and shots all around - no tequila, but there were no complaints. Nicaragua decided to go old school with throwback spirits dating as far back as seven, 12, and 18 years, designed in that order as smooth operators to take your night away. Trinidad and Tobago broke out the bitters and other rich rums, while Cuba took us to heaven with their signature cocktails guaranteed to give you wings.

With plans to take the festival to Montego Bay already under way, let's hope for the sake of swaying guests that it is held over the weekend so that there's enough time for recovery from all the rum.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com