Up at Rum Point you can encounter one of the world’s finest cocktail makers.
Seggredd “Seggie” Quizeo is fresh from representing the Cayman Islands at a major regional contest where he displayed his skills to a large crowd.
“We had a competition in Karoo in June with 16 bartenders from local bars, which I won and went on to represent Cayman in the World Bartenders Challenge in Jamaica,” he said.
The cocktail that won the Cayman heat, he said was what he describes as the Tarragon Spring Martini, which includes fresh tarragon, apricot juice, Appleton and St. Germaine elderflower liquor, plus a lemon juice, sugar and egg white foam which was topped with orange peel. It was enough to take him through to a higher level of competition, he explained.
“The finals were on Friday, 26 October. It was amazing. Nine countries were represented including Canada, USA, Peru, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Jamaica and the UK,” he said.
“You had to showcase two drinks. I made a bell pepper-based drink with mango puree, St Germaine, VX and the three colours of the bell peppers in jerk honey rum glaze on a skewer. It was like a barbecue style, you drink the martini and have a jerk rum to eat. The other cocktail was with cilantro, peach juice and VX plus foam again. Everybody loved it,” Mr. Quizeo said.
In the event, Mr. Quizeo finished in second place. The contest was won by the representative of the United Kingdom.
“There was a crowd of 600 lining up to get my drinks. It is a very fast competition. I said I would make it for everybody and it was very funny.”
The ingredients are unusual and Mr. Quizeo has a varied background on which to draw.
“Before I went onstage they asked me where I was from and I told them the truth – I am from the Philippines representing Cayman. Before that I was working at hotels in Dubai.
“I had the Cayman Islands flag with me and the immigration officer asked me when I came back how the competition had gone. We are only a small island and I am proud. These are the best bartenders in the world. I think everyone was a winner, but only one can actually win, of course.”
Mr. Quizeo displayed information on the Cayman Islands at his bar station in the contest and as a result of his success has also been invited to Trinidad and Tobago in 2013 for another mixology competition.
“I will fight again and you never know, hopefully I can win for the Cayman Islands,” he said.