By Samantha Simon
Ashley Henry of Pineapple Beach Club emerged victorious in Mount Gay’s second annual International Crafted Cocktail competition in a thrilling showcase of mixology talent.
Henry secured the coveted title with her outstanding creation, “The Glam Dram,” a cocktail crafted with locally sourced ingredients such as dragon fruit and pineapple, perfectly complemented by Bruichladdich Classic Laddie – an Islay single malt scotch whisky that she went on to infuse with toasted coconut flakes.
Notably, this isn’t Henry’s first foray into the competition; she previously claimed the third place in the inaugural 2022 edition, while representing Rokuni.
The local leg of the competition unfolded at Maia – South Point, English Harbour, on Saturday, October 28, 2023.
Eight talented mixologists from renowned restaurants and resorts nationwide showcased their skills, vying for the chance to represent Antigua and Barbuda at the finals in Barbados.
Bartenders were given the option to incorporate Cointreau liqueur, The Botanist gin, Bruichladdich single malt whisky, or Mount Gay rum into their creations.
Last year’s champion, Kanto George, claimed second place this year with his creation, “The Red Velvet,” a unique martini variation using The Botanist gin and featuring ingredients like beet root, lemon, ginger, and egg white.
Gavisha Philip secured the third spot with her creation, “Ancient Mist,” a delightful blend of Mount Gay XO rum, homemade dragon fruit jam, fresh lime juice, flower liqueur, and blue Curacao.
The competition spanned nine countries across the Caribbean, with bartenders concocting innovative cocktails.
Participating mixologists from Antigua, Anguilla, The Bahamas, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, St Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and the US Virgin Islands showcased their skills on the local stage, drawing inspiration from classic cocktails like the martini or Old Fashioned.
Having clinched the top spot locally, Ashley Henry will progress to the next round in Barbados, where she will represent Antigua and Barbuda and compete against the Caribbean’s finest mixologists for a chance to win the coveted prize – a week-long, all-inclusive trip to the renowned Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans, scheduled for the summer of 2024.
The event was sponsored by Mount Gay, owned by Remy Cointreau, owners of the other spirits used in the competition’s lineup of mandatory ingredients, all of which are distributed locally by A S Bryden & Sons Limited.
Anyone hoping to recreate the winning cocktail can follow the recipe below:
2 oz classic laddie
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz pineapple puree
2 oz passion fruit juice
1/oz ginger infused sugar syrup
1 oz classic laddie infused in roasted coconut and coco beans.
2 oz of dragon fruit puree
2 mint leaves
1 candied ginger
2 small slices dragon fruit