Australian cocktail maestro Lachlan Morris pours the best drink in the Caribbean, and he can prove it. This past spring, the bartender’s drink recipes won a Caribbean-wide cocktail masters competition sponsored by Stolichnaya Vodka, beating out liquor artisans from six other islands, including the well-known tropical drink capitals, Jamaica and Barbados.

Morris plies his craft at The Royal Palms restaurant and beach bar, on the white sands of Grand Cayman’s epic Seven Mile Beach, a gig he attributes to luck. “People come and don’t leave [the island],” he explains, “so job turnover is very low.” But while working at a cocktail bar in Amsterdam in 2009 after stints in his native Sydney, Vancouver, Scotland, and the Greek isles, he struck up a conversation with a bar manager who was opening the Jet Nightclub on Cayman’s West Bay Road. Morris pounced, happily trading in the dampness of Europe for the tropical Caribbean climate and eventually landing at The Royal Palms.

“It’s a great place to work if you know what you are doing,” Morris says. According to the judges, he certainly does.

Morris’ Award-Winning Pineapple & Coriander Martini

  1. Muddle in a Boston glass:
    5 chunks pineapple
    5 leaves cilantro
    3 grinds of pepper
  2. Add the following ingredients:
    4 dashes Fee Brothers grapefruit bitters
    0.75 oz. fresh lime juice
    1 oz. homemade ginger and lime zest syrup
    0.5 oz. Stolichnaya jalapeño vodka
    1.5 oz. Stolichnaya honey vodka
    0.3 oz. Drambuie
  3. Shake all ingredients hard and double strain into a chilled martini glass.
  4. Zest an orange skin over drink and around glass for aroma.
  5. Garnish with a cilantro leaf floating in drink and 2 grinds of pepper over top.

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