Mix it up at Cayman Cocktail Week

Top mixologist Amba Lamb pulls the double-shaker move.

In case you hadn’t heard, cocktail culture is alive and well in the Cayman Islands.

The local industry boasts an extraordinary group of mixologists, many of whom have competed on the world stage, and you can sample the best of their wares through the special events of Cayman Cocktail Week.

Although the action officially kicks off on 22 Oct., now is the time to buy tickets, as a couple of parties have already sold out. There are also some pre-week affairs on the calendar so you can wet your whistle in advance.

Thursday, 21 Oct.

Speed Rack Finals
Lillie’s at the Strand @ 8pm
Entry fee: $25 donation
A bevy of female bartenders gathered at The Bird on 27 Sept. to see who could mix four drinks in record time, qualifying them for the finals at Lillie’s. Doubling as a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Foundation, it pitted the best in the business against each other with eight competitors advancing to the next round.

Now, they’ll have to step up their game to see which one will emerge victorious overall on 21 Oct. Watch the exciting action while taking advantage of sampling stations and drink specials. There will also be a charity raffle with great prizes up for grabs. Bottles, bottles on the wall, who’s the speediest of them all?

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Friday, 22 Oct.

Espresso Martini Happy Hour
KARoo @ 5pm
Entry fee: No cover
Run, don’t walk, to KARoo in Camana Bay for $6 espresso martinis from 5-7pm. Nothing like a cocktail with a bit of caffeine in it to keep you going until the wee hours. Best of all, there is no cover charge levied in order to take advantage of this great deal. Just grab a table, order some nibbles, and watch the world go by, martini in hand.

ACT X Cocktail Dinner
Avecita @ 7pm
Tickets: $110 plus grats
Two powerhouse mixologists come together at Avecita in the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa for a six-course dinner paired with cocktails. Jim Wrigley and Amba Lamb have been hard at work in the lab, coming up with some magical elixirs to complement this chef’s/bartender’s table-style event. Definitely book a taxi or designate a sober driver for the evening.

Saturday, 23 Oct.

Party Pairings
Bon Vivant @ 6pm
Tickets: $125
Take a deep dive into the world of parties and learn how you can make your next home-hosted event a smash hit. Chef Joe Hughes has created some delectable dishes for this night, with a three-course cocktail-paired dinner. There will also be a Flavour Pairing workshop to have you feeling confident about connecting the best beverage with the perfect plate. Bonus: Take home your own copy of the ‘Flavor Bible’ with which you can continue your education. There are only 14 spaces available around the Bon Vivant kitchen bar, so book soon.

Sunday, 24 Oct.

Chai and Chaat
Bubble Bar at Cracked Conch @ 12:30pm
Tickets: $100 plus grats
Chef Muthu has done it again with a street-food brunch designed to spirit you away to foreign lands. Five casual courses, four high-end cocktails, henna and great company are all included in the price. Eschew the formal and embrace the breezy vibe of this brunchy lunch in one of the truly unique bars on the island.

Bulleit & Tattoos
The Bird @ 3pm
Entry fee: No cover
Fly to The Bird in Seven Mile Shops if you seek an entertaining way to pass the afternoon. Live artists, adult colouring (the mind races), and Bulleit Bourbon cocktails are what’s on the menu. Book a tattoo appointment… or don’t. No ink? You can still drink. However, should you be partial to the idea of adding to your tat collection, you can book in advance at The Bird for Xclusive Ink and choose your flash. Every booking garners you two Bulleit drinks for after the deed is done.

Monday, 25 Oct.

A Night in Oaxaca
Casa 43 @ 7pm
Tickets: $125
Fans of tequila need to sign up for this evening, which features a five-course Mexican dinner paired with tequila and mezcal cocktails (natch) and also includes Mexican beer and (not Mexican) wine options. The menu focusses on items from the state of Oaxaca, which – in case you were wondering – is pronounced wah-HAH-kah. Sombreros and ponchos are not required, but definitely encouraged.

Tuesday, 26 Oct.

What’s In This Drink?
Craft F&B Co. @ 7pm
Tickets: $15 (welcome cocktail included)
Have you got what it takes to outsmart the bartenders? This trivia evening tests your knowledge of cocktails, wine and beer, with a mix of questions for all skill levels. Unsurprisingly, prizes are related to the theme of the night. Proceeds are being donated to the Canine Friends charity, so just another good reason to join in and strut your spirit stuff.

Wednesday, 27 Oct.

Industry Night
Backroom @ 9pm
Entry fee: No cover
Approach hump day the right way and unwind at Backroom Bar, with DJ Urusai spinning the hits from 10pm. Hennessy Cognac and Belvedere Vodka are in the spotlight for this Cayman Cocktail Week night which has no agenda beyond bringing friends and workmates together. Keep your eyes peeled for the Hennessy Sidecar fountain, in situ and flowing throughout the evening.

Thursday, 28 Oct.

Art of the Cocktail (Part 2)
Agua @ 6:30pm
Tickets: $110 plus grats
If Banksy, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons float your boat, you must not miss the Art of the Cocktail dinner where four courses are paired with modern art-themed cocktails from the World Class portfolio. This is the final night of Cayman Cocktail Week and it never disappoints. Expect colour, camaraderie and cocktails worthy of a master artist.

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