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Classy cocktails

NATANGA SMITH, [email protected]

Classy cocktails

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Philip Antoine is changing the way how people view bartenders. The award-winning mixologist is now in Canada for the annual Barbados On The Water event where is he concocting cocktails that are sure to have everyone’s tongue wagging.

He recently returned from overseas where he won a couple competitions to add to his resumé and will be going off to the Cayman Islands as part of his prize to take part in the Caymans Island Cocktail Weekin October.

Being featured in, an online magazine, is a proud achievement as I ribbed him that EASY magazine paled in comparison.

“I am always happy to do an interview with you. My family buys the paper and saves the pages and I keep them in my archives too,” he said.

Philip was not part of the national culinary team that travelled last month to Taste Of The Caribbean, but he has tasted gold with them, having peviously competed and won in the bartender category.

This year he won the Pepsi award Best Mixologist, representing Barbados as one of 35 countries in Washington at the Embassy Chef Challenge.

He also won the award for Best Mixologist at the annual event called Rum And Rhythm put on by Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) in Barbados, which earned him the trip to The Caymans.

“In Washington I made a drink called Illumination. In that I used fresh mint, coconut syrup, lime juice and Mount Gay Silver with some other ingredients. The one for the CTO was a mystery basket and I made a Spicy Mango Salsa drink.”

Philip also had a Father’s Day guest appearance on ABC in New York with Bajan chef Creig Greendige for the Taste Of Barbados show.

“The experience was amazing. I made my drink called Barbados Garden Fresh Cocktail.”

Philip is passionate about his craft, and is always experimenting and exploring new ways to please patrons who taste his trendy drink.

He was at the Food And Wine and Rum tourism event last October held at The Concorde Experience where a long line formed for his classy cocktails. He also mixed drinks for reality TV star Kenya Moore and was featured on her Instagram page.

The mixologist at Fusion restaurant, he is also a feature at some Crop Over events.

“I realise that many people are having bars and also mixologists. Patrons are now developing a taste for exotic cocktails at some of these events, especially the all-inclusive ones. People don’t just want rum and coke any more.

“Crop Over is always fun. I try not to be at everything because it is quality over quantity.”

He said this year had been busy for him in terms of travelling on the international scene.

“I want the experience. So I travel a lot. This event in Canada I have to do three signature cocktails representing Barbados and Barbadian flavours. It ends today but I am stoked. I did it last year as well. It is a lot of work serving all those patrons but it also gave me exposure; so I got other work from it.”

Philip says his favourite spirit is rum which gives his cocktails a twist, adding Caribbean and local spices. (NS)