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By: Jim Wrigley

Raising the bar: Hold the press!

Raising the bar: Hold the press!

Many occupations are associated with mixed drinks and there are numerous tropes passed down the decades, such as the private eye with a sneaky bottle in the desk drawer; the miners’ bar opening for pre-dangerous work drinks; or the entire hospitality sector on any given day.

There is a special association between the press and drinks, however. Journalists through the ages have been portrayed as hard-drinking, chain-smoking heroes hunting the story, ties undone while bashing away at the typewriter with a half-drunk bottle on the desk.

While the modern world is more temperate in many ways, and the stereotypes largely confined to the newspaper archives, it’s always worth asking a reporter or editor for the inside scoop on the best drinks, and when and where to get them.

For this month’s article then, I figured I’d pick the brains of none other than Camana Bay Times' departing editor, Alan Markoff, as to what drinks he had met and enjoyed over his extensive time here in Cayman, and how those offerings had evolved.

“In my early days in Cayman in the 1980s, the 'cocktails' I drank were mostly rum-based like the yellow bird, rum punch and piña colada. Eventually the mudslide made its debut at Rum Point Club and then later, it was the vodka-based Cayman lemonade," he said.

We’ve touched on some of these Cayman Classic cocktails in this column before, and as the cocktail culture on Grand Cayman developed, Alan recalls falling for some of the classics, including the old fashioned and the negroni.

Nowadays, as well as beer (“when the sun is shining and I’m outside, I go shandy-ish – light beer on ice with a wedge of lemon)," he drinks wine (“pretty much anytime, any colour”), fine rum (“straight with a big round ice cube”) and fine tequila (“either in a margarita or just neat”).

Alan says weekend afternoons in Cayman call for a Tom Collins, the classic blend of gin, lemon, soda and a touch of sugar, but he will also be found sipping on G&Ts.

To that end, and to signify the end of a journalistic era, I recommend we all shake up a Journalist Cocktail, from the Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930 – Cheers, Alan!


  • 1-1/2 ounces London dry gin
  • 1/3 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/3 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1/3 ounce Curaçao
  • 2/3 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Dash Angostura bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice until cold, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a good paper – like Camana Bay Times!

Jim Wrigley is the beverage manager at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.

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