Custom cocktails and chill in a tropical destination. Do we need to say more? We’re thrilled to share that Ka’ana is now offering the handcrafted artisanal cocktails curated by award-winning mixologists Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi, from Bar Lab. Widely recognized for their Miami bar, The Broken Shaker (considered one of the Best Bars in the World), the duo are re-energizing the hospitality industry with their eclectic beverage programs for companies around the world.
Bar Lab has been named twice a James Beard Award Semi-Finalist for Outstanding Bar Program, ranked #14 on the “World’s 50 Best Bars” list and won the coveted ‘Spirited Award’ at Tales of the Cocktail for ‘Best American Hotel Bar.’ They’ve launched bars in Chicago, Los Angeles, and now they are bringing their unique twist on local flavors straight to Belize. We’ve asked the pair to design a cocktail program for Ka’ana giving them free reign to create custom drinks inspired by local flavors.
To prepare, the Bar Lab team visited us in Belize to get acquainted with the area and the natural vegetation it provides. Their first stop? Our on-site organic garden. The cocktail inspirations began here when passing by rows of basil, rosemary, sweet fruits and vegetables. And to add to the inspiration they met with a local elixir doctor (yes, that’s a thing!) to create unique bitters using ingredients from indigenous tropical fruits and herbs from the area to go in to their cocktails. “We’re very excited,” says Orta. “Belize is a truly unique destination because not much has been done with the cocktails and beverage [scene]and we are looking forward to changing that.”
It was also important that they spend time with the locals, learning about the culture and farming of Belize to “get even more inspired” by Belize’s many flavors. “We look forward to working with all the fruits that grow locally, like papayas and passion fruit, as well as the wild flowers and herbs,” Orta added “there is such an incredible abundance of vegetation that we couldn’t resist adding to the on-site organic garden.” And with that Ka’ana will be planting mango trees, custard apple trees and even a starfruit tree to support the new menu.
Orta and Zvi have a knack for turning hard liquor into delicious concoctions and they didn’t disappoint. We can’t wait for you to cool off after a day of adventure with, “The Jungle Mist,” featuring sage leaves, gin and refreshing cucumber puree or “In Ruins,” a seasonal custom puree with tequila, spicy chili reduction, and lime juice to top it off. And this is just naming a few.
But it’s not all about the cocktails. All of Bar Lab’s efforts are also aimed at advancing our mission of sustainability by supporting the local economy of Belize. Orta and Zvi are sourcing ingredients from local farmers and even the glassware used was produced locally.
Our sister property, Itz’ana Resorts & Residences, will also be rolling out a curated cocktail menu by Bar Lab that launches with the opening of the resort at the end of this year.
We prefer our Ka’ana nights with a Belizean cocktail in hand. Book your trip today, we’ll make sure you are covered. Cheers!