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Bottom's Up! JFDF Cocktail Clash 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The second iteration of the Jamaica Food & Drink Festival (JFDF) Cocktail Clash took place on Tuesday, October 16 at the KIA Showroom on Oxford Road. The event saw 12 sponsor representatives battle over four rounds in the hopes of being crowned the winner. This year's judges were Tru-Juice Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication Marsha Lumley, Select Brands brand manager Jaime Bicknell, CB Group assistant brand manager Joelle Lodenquai and Barcode chief mixologist Wynton Hudson. They sipped all 15 drinks and judged the cocktails on both taste and appearance. We didn't envy them.

In the first round, sponsored by Appleton, Rainforest Seafood's Bethany Young, CB Food's Ryan Silvera, JFDF ambassador Leighton Facey and the Jamaica Observer Ltd's Nicolette Woolery faced off, with Silvera emerging as the winner. The second round, sponsored by Select Brands, saw Yello Media's Rasheed Girvan, Seprod's Kerrian Johnson, KIA Motors' Dorian Williams and defending champion Massy Gas' Mark Defreitas going head-to-head. Defreitas won. He definitely came to retain the crown. Round three's contestants, Sagicor Life's Chris Lawe, attorney-at-law Ron Young, Gustazos' Charlotte Chantiloupe and National Bakery's Stacy-Ann Neilson battled as if life depended on it, making for the most exciting elimination round that evening. This round, too, was sponsored by Appleton. Lawe was successful and went on to the Select Brands-sponsored finals where he joined Silvera and Defreitas. Lawe emerged the winner.

Ever the responsible festival organisers, the JFDF ensured that there were copious amounts of food to counter the effects of the delicious cocktails being poured by Barcode. Roast Meats' Simon Levy brought a tasty spread that comprised chorizo sliders with spicy aioli, butter chicken canapés with tomato jam, delicious moist jerk pork served with an orange marmalade sauce and housemade hot sauce, Caribbean Passion sausages with Dragon (the stout, not the fire-breathing mythological creature, har) mustard and salmon mousse-schmeared crostini.

As one guest said: “Tuesdays can be hard and this was a great way to spend one.” Thursday Social agrees. Here are highlights from the 2018 Jamaica Food & Drink Festival Cocktail Clash.