Interview with Raymond C. Edwards – Chief Mixologist @ House of Angostura

Raymond C. Edwards

Chief Mixologist @ House of Angostura

1) Bucket List items for this year.

  1. Complete  Master of Worlds Spirit Training at the Worlds Spirit Academy In Austria
    • This Training program was intense and it gave me a better understanding of spirits of the world and how one should appraise them.  During my stay in Austria I had the opportunity to go mountain climbing the scenery was panoramic, heavenly and beautiful. N.B. Don’t forget your jacket LOL.
  2. Teach my son to ride his bike
    • He hasn’t been able to totally get the hang of things, hopefully I will be removing the training wheels soon
  3. Cultivate my very own herb garden at home
    • It’s an integral part of creating the perfect cocktail. Friends are always invited to come over for your drinks and food. Fresh is always the best!
  4. Bring the community of local bartenders closer together
    • By hosting focus groups and cocktail refreshers at the House of Angostura we can aid in fostering closer relationships amongst industry professionals.
  5. Visit and experience first-hand other Rum Distillers located in the Caribbean
    • Every distillery has its own foot print and special style in the way their rums are made, I would like to experience this.

2) What is the biggest achievement you personally feel you have accomplish for the rum industry

My biggest achievement thus far has been highlighting the versatility and mixability of Angostura rums through educational training for bartenders within the Americas. We often take for granted the gem of a liquid rum is and the role it played in shaping our region’s economy, culture and lifestyle. “One region, many faces, one passion, all races. Our love for Rum.”  Raymond C. Edwards.

3) Favorite Drink + Recipe

Hmmmm…. That would have to be the lost and forgotten “Queen’s Park Swizzle” The bartender who created this cocktail is yet unknown but this cocktail for me could have been inspired by the Mojito. It was created at the Queens Park Hotel during the late 1800s to early 1900s. The richness of Angostura 7yr old rum, the aromatic and spicy flavour of Angostura aromatic bitters along with fresh mint gives this cocktail an explosion of flavour.

RECIPE

Name: Queens Park Swizzle
Glassware: Highball
Garnish: Mint sprig

Ingredients
60 ml Angostura 7yr Rum
30 ml Demerara Sugar
30 ml lime Juice
8-12 Fresh mint leaves
6 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters

Method:
Build in a highball glass. Muddle fresh mint leaves in lime juice and simple syrup then fill glass with crush ice. Pour rum over crush ice and swizzle well until glass is ice cold and frosted. Add more crush ice then top off with Angostura aromatic bitters.

 

4) Where do you see the rum industry today and in the next 5 years?

The rum industry continues to grow and evolve over the years with the introduction of information technology and the consumers in today’s market has a better understanding of the craft and what it takes to produce a high quality spirit. It’s because of this demand blenders and rum producers have made that investment to satisfy this need.

Rum is here to stay and its versatility is endless.

5) Share some (2-3) of your mentors and how they have helped you.

My journey has been blessed to have some very talented, gifted and kind hearted people the world over.

  1. Master Distiller John Georges “I call him the rum whisperer.” John is one of the most humble persons I know, his understanding and passion for the rum industry and making great quality spirits has fuelled my desire to learn more and make a difference in the lives of many bartenders.

  2. Douglas Henderson Executive Manager Sales and Marketing Angostura Limited.

    • The first time I met Douglas was very interesting. He walked into my office and introduced himself, he then looked me straight in the face and said “Do you know that you have my dream job.” Douglas is a people person, incredibly generous and is always willing to listen and give meaningful advice. His experience vision and passion is definitely going to make a difference in transforming the industry. He knows what is needed to build a brand and has shown me the importance of keeping the customer and consumer at heart. There is so much more to mixology that meets the eyes.

  3. My dad Raymond Edwards (we both carry the same name) has always been close to my heart and I have learnt so much from him. My passion my aggression towards doing what is right being kind and humble. He also thought me to cook!!

6) Any last words?

“For all is attainable once there is Imagination, Passion and Love”. CHEERS!!

7) Learn more about Raymond C. Edwards?

Raymond C. Edwards is one of the most sort after Bartenders in the Caribbean Region. He is the Chief Mixologist at the House of Angostura and has been a part of the Hospitality industry professionally for over 9 years. He is a Multi Award Winning Mixologist; some of his accolades includes, Triple National Bartending Champion Trinidad and Tobago 2006-2008, Bartender of the Year (Taste of the Caribbean) 2007, People’s Choice winner at the Angostura Global Cocktail Championship and was inducted into Caribbean Hotel Association Hall of Fame in 2012.  Raymond Edwards has completed his Training at the Worlds Spirits Academy and has been certified as a Master of World Spirits. Award winning Chef Debora Sadina Metivier refers to him as the “Cocktail Guru,” pairing food with cocktails made from fresh ingredients.

Raymond has created many cocktails some of which includes the Saga Boy Mojito, T’Amaro Morning and The Trinidad Swizzle .  He has worked alongside some of the industry’s top mixologists of whom include Dale Degroff (The Grandfather of Cocktails, Tony Abou-Ganim (The Modern Mixologist) and Salvatore Calabrese (The Maestro).

Some of his annual appearances include The Manhattan Cocktail Classic, Tales of the cocktails held in New Orleans and Tales on tour Mexico City.  As a result of the passion he shares for the craft, Raymond has conducted many training sessions with aspiring bartenders and has developed menus for top restaurants and bars locally and regionally. Cheers!!

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Author: Fede

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