The cocktail culture is getting hotter by the day in Nairobi. The hospitality industry is producing more mixologists and they are definitely stirring up a storm in a glass.
They have taken the contemporary cocktail scene with drinks that seem easy to prepare but the art, story and skill behind their creations leave cocktail lovers in awe.
Every year, Diageo Reserve World Class holds a global competition which aims to transform fine drinking and the cocktail culture around the world.
The recently-concluded Diageo Kenya World Class competition saw various Mixologists prepare unique cocktails for the competition.
“Fallen Heroes” was the winning cocktail prepared by Angeliqua Rivera from Dusit D2 Hotel and she will represent Kenya in the international competition that will take place in Glasgow, Scotland in September.
“It has been challenging and exciting and it took a lot of hard work and practice to get to the finals of the competition. The “Fallen Heroes” cocktails includes the Bulleit Bourbon, egg whites, fresh lemon and milk syrup,” highlights Angeliqua who has over ten years experience as a mixologist.
Local hotels have also turned up the heat in the mixology segment. Turning away from the conventional iced cocktails, Hilton Hotel’s mixologists are serving up hot cocktails.
“With the cold weather we sometimes don’t get as many people ordering cold drinks as we do during the warmer seasons and that is why we chose to come up with select warm cocktails that our patrons can enjoy during this time,” says Joseph Karanja, a mixologist at The Pool Restaurant at Hilton.
Each warm cocktail has incorporated different types of alcohol, including, vodka, rum and whisky. For instance, the Kenyan Highland Sweetness is ideal for the coffee lovers as it includes; black coffee, Drambuie Whisky and Whipping Cream, The hot and cold combination of the whipping cream and black coffee makes gives this drink a burst of flavours and the fact that coffee is a catalyst to heat makes it even worth enjoying in this cold Nairobi days.
The ‘Melanin Sweet’ a vodka-based warm cocktail, a creation by their in-house mixologist Diana Wanjiku. It is based on Absolut Mandrin Vodka, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice and Coffee. “This is my own creation and I made it this way because I wanted it to have the citrusy flavour and I added coffee because it is part of our heritage. I called it Melanin because it is dark, rich and strong,” explains Diana who holds over seven years experience as a mixologist.
“I submitted the Melanin Sweet cocktail for a competition carried out by Hilton Group and the winner will go to Dubai and the UK,” she adds.
She and Angeliqua are representing Kenya on the global cocktail scene as the art of cocktail making receives more recognition locally.