Juliet Coombe learns how to shake it up with the best of them and in true James bond style she was shaken not stirred by the uber fun cocktail class!
There’s a very cool new outdoor bar in town at Jetwing J hotel and it looks like a little oasis that’s just come in straight off the beach it’s so much fun, as it sits next to the pool. The hotel barman has a good sense of humour, too, as he caters for western dipsomania with quotes on boards like “alcohol because no good story started with a salad” There’s all kinds of drinks here, hard and soft, but really, to fully get into the spirit of the bar, you must order a Big J cocktail or better still make one of your own.
I’ve only ever pulled pints behind the student union bar before – never made a proper cocktail in my life, except Magheritas at home, my favourite. But I jumped at the chance of making my own cocktail with a Sri Lankan twist, that is using the local brew, arak. Vivian Vaz, the cool young assistant manager, introduced me to cocktail maker extraordinaire, Lasitha Fernando, who showed me the ropes. The cocktail consists of 50ml of arak, 175ml of pineapple juice, 25ml of passion cordial, 25ml of orange cordial, 2 dashes of Grenadine and ICE. It’s not all in the ingredients; it’s how you put them together and how you shake it to the rhythm and whether you shake it in the right direction. Anyway, I cottoned on pretty quick, and was shaking the night away with Vivian, Lasitha and this superb tasting bevvy, as well as imbibing the soft version, to ensure the next day was a good’un, too.
Just one thing, though, don’t try and crash the party by the pool at Big Js as there’s a dog that lurks underneath the tables, like a trained hound of the Baskervilles, that knows when there’s a stranger coming in off the beach – unless, of course, you want to end up the next Sherlock Holmes murder mystery.