IN THE SPOTLIGHT: MIXOLOGY

Name: Amba Lamb
Born: New Zealand
Occupation: Beverage Manager @ The Ritz-Carlton

Lamb was born and raised in New Zealand, but got the travelling bug fairly early. She was 18 years old when she flew to Texas to work at a summer camp, where she stayed for six months before returning home.

This would be the start of many trips back and forth, which took her to Ireland, Scotland, London and Canada before moving to Cayman in Jan. 2014.

After managing a few restaurants and bars, Lamb found that going back to the entry-level position of bartender at The Ritz-Carlton’s then-Periwinkle Restaurant (now Andiamo) was a great way to reacquaint herself with creating cocktails. She began honing her skills and entered her first competition in 2016.

“I was stupid nervous,” Lamb recalls. “I asked the photographer not to take a picture of me throwing up on the judges if it happened [laughs]; there was a very real danger!”

The next year, she was more prepared. Her carnival/circus-themed pop-up bar was a hit and so were her three cocktails: a sno-cone with pretzel-infused rum; a white negroni with cotton candy vodka; and the popcorn oldfashioned which now features on the Seven restaurant menu.

Lamb won the crown and the opportunity to compete in the World Finals in Mexico City. “It was amazing and terrifying at the same time,” she says. “Incredible to see what people from all over the world were doing – things you wouldn’t even think of.”

She is now one of the judges for the annual World Class competition in Cayman and is presently working on plans for Cayman Cookout 2020.

“We have such an exciting beverage lineup for Cookout,” she says. “I can’t wait!”