Area Bartenders

Area Bartenders Compete for Cayman Spot

Story and photos by TIR Staff

Some of the best bartenders in the Tampa Bay area displayed their skill at a recent cocktail competition dubbed, St. Pete – Chased with a Taste of Cayman at Hotel Zamora on St. Pete Beach.

The event was one of several hosted by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDT) in the U.S. and U.K. leading up to the grand challenge during the Taste of Cayman Food & Drink Festival at the end of January where the winner of the regional competitions will vie for the title “Mixologist of the Year.”

The bartenders were tasked to feature Seven Fathoms Rum which is aged in American white oak bourbon barrels at secret locations in the Cayman Islands seven fathoms (42 feet) under the sea to cre- ate a flavor reminiscent of when rum was transported on ships rolling with the ocean waves in the cool of the cargo hold.

Pass-a-Grille resident Cile Moreno, co-owner of Sea Tow Tampa Bay and president of Preferred Brands was hired by the importer of Seven Fathoms to manage the brand. Along with securing distributors, managing pric- ing, inventory and sales training, she works with CIDT’s public relations agency to secure bartenders for the competition.

Each contestant had a table draped in black and discussed their cocktail with the judges as they made it. Bartenders Juan Rincon from Zamora’s 360 Rooftop Lounge and Suzy Pease from Rumfish Grille represent- ed the beaches. There were three bartenders from Tampa, but it was Angela Galecki from Bella Brava in St. Petersburg who took top honors and will be working her magic again in Cayman come January 27. For info go to


Winning bartender Angela Galeckie from Bella Brava wowed the judges with The Grand a’peel. It includes rum, Harissa honey syrup, banana tahini purée, Bonal gentiane, coconut white balsamic and angostura bitters.

Suzy Pease competed from Rumfish Grille on St. Pete Beach.

Juan Rincon from 360 Rooftop at Zamora puts a flambé finishing touch on his competition cocktail.