Woman power: Lauren Bevington eyeing Stoli’s top award
Lauren Bevington is hoping to show her female bartending strength and mix her favourite vodka brand into the winner’s seat of this Sunday’s Stoli competition at Loterie Farm. There will also be a pool party where the finalists we will be “rocking” their cocktails from 12:00 to 8:00pm. The only female in the finals, Bevington bartends at Dinghy Dock Bar and Restaurant in Simpson Bay.
Bevington was born in the Netherlands to a Dutch mother and an American father. She had a passion for the hospitality industry from young. “It started off with me wanting to become a stewardess which turned into wanting to become a chef. I decided to study International Hotel and Business Management at Mondriaan School in The Hague, which is where I had to do an internship abroad. I chose the Caribbean and got a position on the lovely island of St. Maarten.”
Bevington was supposed to do a 10-month internship; within two weeks she had fallen in love with the island so decided to stay after her internship ended. “On the island, I found my passion for bartending and built up three years of bartending, with a total of eight years of experience in the hospitality industry.”
She calls herself a liquid bartender, who loves to experiment with “crazy combinations of flavours and make unexpected cocktails,” but as a person, she sees herself as someone who likes to enjoy life to the fullest. “I tried to participate in all the competitions held since I am a bartender in St. Maarten, because I love the experience and being able to see what other bartenders have to offer.”
This is her second Stoli competition. “I will always enrol in the Stoli ones because it’s actually my vodka of choice, and I love their selection of flavours. The last time I participated in their competition, I did not finish first, therefore, it is my goal to top that and finish first this time.” She had also entered a Mojito competition held by Havana Club and a rum competition held by Angostura.
Bevington believes her creativity and the flavour combinations she used in her cocktails pushed her into the Stoli finals. “The drink I made for the first round this year was a Cucumber Rosemary Lemonade, which was a nice and refreshing drink, with a slightly healthy twist to it, due to the cucumber. The second one was a Spicy Papaya and Guava cocktail, which was nice and sweet with a spicy finish.”
In the finals, competitors are expected to make three different cocktails: a twist on a Moscow Mule, a twist on Stoli Lemonade and a Caribbean styled freestyle. “All three of my drinks will have an interesting and creative flavour pallet. I'll be using fruits combined with herbs and spices. If you would like to know my version of these drinks, join me at the competition this Sunday.”
Bevington plans to bring her creativity in flavour combinations to the table, which she hopes will “sweep everybody off their feet, but we will see this on Sunday and may the best bartender win.”
As for the future, she plans to enter as many competitions as possible. She also looks forward to organising her own all-female bartending competition this year, to show off some amazing female bartenders on island. She plans to judge and not compete in this.
“My personal goal is to travel the world and see as much as possible of it. While travelling, I'll be trying the local liquors and homebrew alcohols. With these, I want to create a portfolio of cocktails from around the world. When I finally settle down, I'm hoping to open my own bar with cocktails from around the world and with extraordinary flavour combinations.”
When she’s not working, Bevington enjoys the ocean and everything around it. “I love to go to the beach, snorkel, dive, take boat trips and spend time with friends. As a bartender, I like to try as many different cocktails and liquors as possible, mainly as an inspiration for any future creations I make. But as an all-time go-to-drink, I must say Stoli Ginger Ale. I’ll never be disappointed when you hand me that drink.”
Bevington urges everyone to come out and support her and the other competitors Sunday.