The Grand Old House is one of the most iconic buildings in the Cayman Islands. It is a plantation house that was built in 1908, and although it served many purposes in its early life, it first became a restaurant in 1969. Since that time, it has grown to become a favorite of residents and visitors, with its large deck offering expansive views of the sea.

Not content to just keep the status quo, the present owners have upgraded sections of the venue over the years. The main bar on the deck was one such recipient of the facelift treatment. It has been expanded and refurbished, with a lounge area to its immediate south, known for relaxed and social happy hours.

Behind that bar you’ll often find Nino Hafner, Italian mixologist and charming personality, all blended into one.

Nino has been working in Cayman for five years, and before moving here, he was mixing drinks in a cocktail bar in Munich, Germany.

Thanks to the geographical locations in which he’s found himself, he speaks three languages: Italian, German and English.

Since Nino began living in the islands, he has participated in several high-level bartending competitions. The man’s skills are evident in the drinks he produces for his clients at Grand Old House, where he has been plying his trade for some time now.

“I love the view from the bar,” he says. “The staff is great, and thanks to the reputation of the restaurant, we are busy all the time. I like that.

“It’s just nice to work in such a historic place.”

Nino’s drink is a twist on an old Cayman favorite – the Swanky beverage.


Grand Old Swanky

  • 1½ oz El Dorado 21 year
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz brown sugar simple syrup
  • ½ egg white

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously.

Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lime twist.