On June 3rd, 2016, YRB attended the 5th annual Rum & Rhythm benefit in New York City.
Festivities highlighted the two winners from this year’s Rum & Rhythm mixology contest, and included a competition between some of the best chefs in the Caribbean. Chefs from countries including Anguilla, Cayman Islands, St. Martin, Antigua, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados represented in an amazingly authentic way!
This signature fundraiser, hosted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), is an annual tasting and silent auction that raises money for the CTO Scholarship Foundation. 100 % of the of the proceeds from the event will provide scholarships and study grants to Caribbean students pursuing college degrees in fields related to tourism and hospitality.
Guests were able to sample award-winning Caribbean rums, authentic Caribbean cuisine, and featured cocktails by popular mixologists, all while enjoying the rhythms of Caribbean music at the exclusive Capitale.
Sylvanus Johnson, the male mixologist winner, competed against female mixologist winner, Selma Slabika, in a battle of the sexes. Brooklyn native and star of VH1’s “Hit the Floor” Robert Christopher Riley hosted the event. Special guest chefs Michael Hinds and Creig Greenidge, and mixologist Dameain Williams, provided a taste of the islands.
JUDGES – MALE MIXOLOGIST COMPETITION:
Karl Williams – Owner, Solomon and Kuff
Matty Durgin – Celebrated national bartender and tiki expert
Patra Roach – Director, Barbados Tourism Marketing, Inc.
Sylvanus Johnson – Winner of the male mixologist competition – Mixologist at Mother’s Ruin
Jeff Hazell – Mixologist at Dram in Brooklyn
Shane Smith – DJ and Mixologist at Solomon & Kuff
Austin Hartman – Beverage Director and Mixologist at Montana’s Trail House
JUDGES – FEMALE MIXOLOGIST COMPETITION
Kennith McCoy – Founder of Ward III & The Rum House
Justin Briggs – Ambassador, Skurnik Wines & Spirits
Gail A. Spann – Founder of Spanning The Globe Travel
Selma Slabiak – Winner of the female mixologist competition & mixologist at Aska
Shannon Mustipher – Denizen Rum Brand Ambassador – Featured in New York Magazine & Village Voice
Erika Ordonez – Mixologist at Slowly Shirley and Porchlight Bar
Shantel Grant – Mixologist at Forrest Point in Brooklyn
Photos by: Mariamma Kambon