This Thursday Morning June 15th, St. Maarten visitors and residents jointly broke the current world record in “simultaneous cocktail tasting” as an official start of this year’s “St. Maarten Flavors” campaign. 483 participants enjoyed a joint welcome cocktail “Sweet SXM” provided by Caribbean Liquors & Tobacco at the Sharkey’s venue at Port St. Maarten. With this effort, destination St. Maarten broke a Russian record of 354 cocktail enthusiasts dating back to 2017.
The World Record attempt, organized by the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) served as the official kick-off of the 2023 St. Maarten Flavors Program. In the run-up to the St. Maarten Flavors prix fixe month of November, it organized “Appeteaser Week”, taking place June 15 – June 24. during this week, a selection of restaurants already offers a preview of their “signature dish” designed for that month. Restaurants offering a 3-course signature dish for $49 for June Appeteaser Week are Emilio’s, Jai’s Contemporary Cuisine, La Perle Bleu, Roma and Mr. Chow at Oasis, Ocean Lounge, Pure Ocean and TJ’s Cassava Coal Pot. Those restaurants offering a one course signature dish for $17.50 are Aziana, Nola Bayou Bistro, The Captain’s Rib Shack, The Pier Beach Bar & Restaurant and The Tavern.
A symbolic toast after a countdown, signaled the moment that locals and visitors took up their cocktail and jointly opened the St. Maarten Flavors 2023 food events. Next to official witnesses, international media were present at the event. Till date, the largest registered cocktail tasting event comprised of 354 participants and was recorded by Wild Turkey Jazz Festival in Moscow, Russia on November 18th, 2017. The joint toast did not just perform beyond this record, but also served as a unique welcome cocktail for passengers of the world’s largest cruise ship, hoping to leave a lasting impression of the “Friendly Island”. The collaboration with Royal Caribbean went flawlessly and their efforts to get passengers to participate in the record made it a successful event.
Port St. Maarten Group CEO Alexander Gumbs, host and co-sponsor of the event, thanked all present. “St. Maarten has been awarded best port of call in the Caribbean many times and as recent as 2022 awarded the Readers Choice Awards for Best Caribbean Shopping Port 2022 by Porthole Cruise & Travel. That can only be done in conjunction with the many partners on island that help the destination stand out. St. Maarten’s vast array of food and beverage tastes is one of the most famed aspects of our destination’s offer, and we as Port St. Maarten are happy to support this unique feature on this special occasion. Though our port boasts many activities, hosting a successful World Record attempt is a new and unique achievement for our resume – we thank all involved for making this happen, including the great passengers of Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas”.
Signature Cocktail “Sweet SXM” was a specially designed cocktail for the occasion by Caribbean Liquors and Tobacco (CLT), making use of two of its key brands El Dorado and Amaretto Di Saronno, and poured in recyclable glassware made available by PDG Supplies.
St. Maarten Flavors’ main sponsor, the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau (STB), also spoke of a successful means to put St. Maarten in the culinary spotlight. Director May-ling Chun: “The goal of the St. Maarten Flavors program is to put St. Maarten on the map of food lovers around the world, invite visitors and locals to immerse themselves in the dynamic food scene of the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean” at an accessible price point and to give local restaurants a platform to showcase their diverse creations. Last but not least, events serve as a fundraiser to get a national St. Maarten culinary talent team to the prestigious Taste of the Caribbean competition in Miami. Celebrating this success in the region and beyond will make sure St. Maarten remains high on the agenda of “foodies” on the road to November”
Besides SHTA, STB, Port St. Maarten Group, CLT and PDG Supplies, the St. Maarten Flavors Appeteaser Week is actively supported by EZ shop powered by Prime, Sol Gas, ORCO Bank, VISIT Magazine, Island 92 Radio, SXM Talks, Sotheby’s International Realty, Dock Maarten and Sound 2000. Foodies interested in staying up to date with June Appeteaser Week and St Maarten Flavors November can visit www.stmaartenflavors.com or subscribe to our newsletter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . Though St. Maarten Appeteaser Week restaurant subscriptions are now closed, restaurants small and large interested in participating in “St. Maarten Flavors” November can contact the SHTA office via the same e-mail address or contact by phone at 542-0108 for details.