For this month's Explorer Series we sat down with Rico, one of our passionate mixologists, to talk about why a cocktail at Ka'ana is more than just a drink. When Rico makes it for you, it's a true adventure.
What does being a bartender mean to you?
Bartending is more than just mixing drinks or opening a beer. Bartending is my passion; the art of creating new flavors by infusing different liquors and herbs is my hobby.
Waiting to have someone that admires cocktails as much as they enjoy them is the best. The look on their face when they take that first sip and their taste buds go wild is just pleasing.
I love being a people person. Meeting new friends with different attitudes, traits and personalities makes bartending so much fun. Bartending is definitely not a job.
What's your favorite drink to make?
I have two favorite drinks to make. One is the "Classic Mojito". It takes more than just a bartender to make a Mojito. It needs passion, love and - of course - fresh ingredients. The best part is that we have our own garden, so everything is fresh. Fresh limes, aromatic mint leaves and sugar cane sugar are just the perfect combination for our World's Gold Winner White Rum.
The other drink is the Down the Hatch. I can see why it is the owners' favorite. Growing our jalapeños in our organic garden, then infusing them into tequila takes pride and passion. The Down the Hatch also has the unique flavor of lemon basil; we release its oils by muddling infusion. And we make it a masterpiece by combining it with fresh pineapple juice and top it off with lemon basils' fresh aromas by smacking a sprout and placing it behind the straw as a final piece of art.
What drink would you pair with your favorite dish?
Our signature Mango Habanero Margarita is one of our best pairs with our delightful mouthwatering Grape Fruit Red Snapper Fillet. The flavor infusions of the habaneros with lime, mango and orange notes makes a perfect combination with this dish.
What signature drinks would you recommend?
It's impossible to pick just one, se here are my top four: Mango Habanero Margarita, Citrus Ha'ab, The Refresher, and the always popular Sweet Corn Colada.
What's one of your most memorable stories from the Wallace Lounge?
Our new Cocktail Destination presentation makes bartending life a real experience. It has given me the most memorable stories at the Wallace Lounge. I've met people that are rum fans and were totally amazed with our wide selection of rum, our local fruits and the herbs from our organic garden.
Having guests create their own infusions after the presentation is the best! Hearing all the stories of bar experiences they've had while traveling around the world is so fulfilling. But the best part is explaining to someone how we grow our herbs, the origin of our Caribbean rums, and the history of the Caribbean Classics.
Why should guests make sure to visit the Wallace Lounge during their stay at Ka'ana?
First of all everything we use in our signature drinks is local and fresh. From the juices we mix with to the rum we infuse with. Our organic garden provides us with all the herbs awe need. And Belize is recognized worldwide for top quality rum.
The Wallace lounge also has a wide selection of wines to enhance a romantic experience on our stargazing deck. Our lounge can also satisfy you with a little cozy area if you'd like to have wine and cheese pairing. We offer five different types of artisan cheese to complement our imported wines. It's not just a Lounge, it's The Wallace Lounge.
Ready to join Rico on a culinary adventure by the bar? Talk to our team today to book your stay and your very own mixology class!