World Cocktail Day was celebrated in Kenya for the very first time ever this Sunday the 13th of May at the Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club.
The event was hosted by DIAGEO, the luxury EABL alcohol subsidiary, with the aim of shining a light on the craft for the Kenyan public and showing what strides we have taken towards competing on the international cocktail arena.
“I came up with a few cocktails from our reserve spirits portfolio and had fun doing a proper shift on a Sunday,” says DIAGEO brand ambassador Alex Kavita, who put his mixology skills to the test over the course of a long sunny afternoon of cocktail making within the idyllic grounds of the Windsor hotel.
Started in 1806, the May 13th World Cocktail Day coincides with the exact date in which the word “cocktail” first appeared in a New York publication by the name of the Balance & Columbian Repository. It is unclear who exactly started the annual event and when it became a global marketing ploy, but today it is celebrated around the world with alcohol companies and mixologists eager to get in on the action.
“For me it’s more about an appreciation of what is now a respectable craft,” notes Kavita, who became a bartender by chance after embarking on a career as a hotelier. According to him: “the bartender today is an expert and in my opinion should be held in regard to our counterpart the chef. More and more people are gravitating towards fine drinking and are opting for quality and not quantity and as such this amazing experience is now being offered” on the Kenyan market.
Tanqueray gin, Bulleit Burbon and Kettle One vodka formed the cornerstone of some of the bright, delicious and colourful cocktails that Kavita whipped up as the sun set on the magnificent Windsor grounds.
Kavita’s passion and dedication to the cocktail cause – keep in mind he spent an entire week preparing the ingredients for his World Cocktail Day demonstration, set a great example for other aspiring mixologists. Hopefully next year he will be joined by a team of equally expert professionals determined to put Kenya on the cocktail making map.