Bartender Gomara Lugo, Sea Breeze Bar, wins the Great Divi Village Cocktail Challenge

winner-gomaraMarcel Nahr, Food & Beverage Manager, Divi Dutch Village, orchestrated a great event at the Sea Breeze Bar pitching seven different Divi bartenders against each other for the Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort Aruba 2009 Bartender Competition.

The master-mixers, all veteran Divi cocktail-makers were rated for originality, creativity, timing, method, neatness, visual appeal, presentation, aroma, taste & balance.

The three engaged and engaging judges, all of them resort guests with a great attitude and even greater good-sportwomanship, rose to the challenge. They were Lynn Pasacane of Milford, MA, Karyn Anderson of Saugus, MA, and Shelly Brewer, a real-live food & beverage professional from the Crazy Gringo Bar & Grill in Weirs Beach, NH, who according to Marcel displayed good humor, presented recommendation letters from their neighborhood liquor wholesalers and breweries, and possessed the good sense of finding their way home after the competition.

Gomara’s drink “Peach Lora,” a frozen concoction was a Malibu & Peach Schnapps combination with a splash of the local Coecoei on the bottom of the glass. Resort Manager Gerrit Griffith handed Gomara her first prize – a weekend stay at the resort – and reported he was not at all surprised. Gomara has been mixing cocktails at his resort bar for a very long time and is a great favorite with guests.

Second prize winner Cesar Gayoso, Sea Breeze bar, delivered Pao Pao, a frozen libation made with 51 Dark Rum, Vodka, Apricot Brandy, Peach Schnapps and fresh juices. Third place winner Jimmy Salcedo, from the Ocean View Bar, invented the Lighthouse, a frozen drink with Light Rum, the local Ponche Crema, Baileys Irish Cream, Coconut Cream and Banana Liqueur.

Other contenders from Mulligan’s Golf Café, Bar & Restaurant were Monica Richards, with Sweet Lips, Tina Werleman, with the Longest Drive, Carmen Seraus, with Carnival Fever, and Robert Statie, Infinity Pool Bar, with Aftershock. They all worked hard on their creation and entertained the crown with their professional moves.

Divi explains Marcel was looking for a signature cocktail with a great WOW Factor! Bartenders were challenge to create a drink which calls attention from glass, to contents, to garnish, and name, a drink that would grab sippers from the get-go, from color, to image and taste and will keep patrons coming back at the bar.

Gomara’s cocktail glass was empty as the group posed for pictures, Peach Lora was inhaled and the judges don’t deny it, we drank it, they said, we loved it  . . .

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February 07, 2009
Rona Coster