Mixologist of the Month: Jomel Padilla @ The Westin Grand Cayman

The Westin on Seven Mile Beach is a wide rather than a deep property, which means it takes full advantage of the huge stretch of white sand before it. With large swimming pools, a swim-up bar, grand lobby and award-winning restaurant, the Westin encompasses all that’s great about a Caribbean resort.

When people vacation here, the picture-perfect dream is a seat on the beach with a tropical drink in hand. Luckily, residents and locals can do the same. Rum is always a top choice for tropical cocktails, and there’s nothing finer than Flor de Caña Rum in your glass.

Jomel Padilla

Jomel Padilla

Mixologist Jomel Padilla has plied his trade behind the bar for the last 17 years. He went to bartending school in the Philippines and then moved to the Cayman Islands after his friends here encouraged him to come down.

He has been in Grand Cayman for nine years now, and has won awards for his mixology skills. In fact, he won first place in the Flor de Caña competition in 2012, so he knows his rum. Jomel is now working at The Westin Grand Cayman, bringing joy to those who pull up a chair at his bar.

When asked why he enjoys his job, he says, “I love meeting new people and creating cocktails. It’s just a great life.”

He particularly likes using Flor de Caña in his recipes because it’s “very versatile and mixes perfectly with the fresh fruit we find on the island.”

Jomel usually visits the local markets to get the best fresh ingredients for his drinks. He is also very protective of his knife. “It’s the one tool I won’t do without,” he laughs. “I take it with me everywhere and it’s the only knife I use.”

Jomel can be found at the pool bar, Catboat bar or the Beach House bar on a regular basis. Seek him out – it’ll be worth your time.

STEV7034[1]

Watermelon Kiss

  • 2 oz Flor de Caña Rum
  • ½ oz butterscotch liqueur
  • 3 oz pureed watermelon juice
  • Lemon wedge
  • Fresh mint

Muddle the fresh mint and lemon in a shaker, then add Flor de Caña rum, butterscotch liqueur and watermelon juice. Add ice and shake. Strain into a glass of ice. Garnish with a wedge of watermelon and fresh mint.

Available at the Catboat bar and Beach House bar over the Valentine’s weekend (Feb. 12-14).