The Golden Jubilee Cocktail
► by Bartender Harold Shepherd of Harold’s Bar, The Sandpiper
When Harold Shepherd mixed his first drink behind the bar at The Sandpiper in 1999, he’d already been working at the West Coast resort for a decade.
— Photography: Kenneth Theysen
A few years into his tenure, he decided to try selling beer to guests on the beach, loading up mobile cooler boxes topped with a makeshift countertop each morning and wheeling his setup along the beach. “Every day I’d run out of beer”, he says. “And the rest is history.”
Well, not quite. It was eight years before the non-mobile version of his cabana-style bar and lunch destination was first constructed – and another four before the engraved wooden sign that bears his name was hung from the bar’s ceiling beam. Made by a repeat guest who loved Harold and thought his name ought to be “in lights”, it appeared overnight as a surprise. That was when the Beach Bar officially became Harold’s Bar and the sign has been swinging in the Barbados breeze ever since.
Another change was that he started selling more cocktails than beer. Now, he boasts a novel-sized drinks menu in addition to a four-page, non-alcoholic menu for kids, with many of the non-alcoholic options named after resort guests. And while there’s no shame in picking up the leather-bound kids’ menu for a non-alcoholic option, he also slips virgin cocktails into the adult menu, so you can sip a Sue Slinger at 9 a.m., when the bar opens every day.
Harold added this cocktail, the Golden Jubilee, last year along with a second called the 246 Fifty (a refreshing mix of rum, Falernum, peach purée and pineapple juice with fresh ginger and mint) in honour of Barbados’ 50 years of independence. The Golden Jubilee is all Bajan: it is made with local spirits and mango juice… and even the golden cane sugar for the sugar rim is local.
Makes 1 cocktail
1 ½ oz. Malibu rum
3 oz. mango purée
3 oz. mango juice
1 lemon wedge
Golden cane sugar for the rim
Wipe the rim of a martini glass with the lemon wedge, then twist the rim in a small plateful of cane sugar.
Combine the rums, mango purée and mango juice in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake, then strain into the martini glassup to the rim.
AN AWARD-WINNING BARTENDER
People come from all over the island for Harold’s cocktails, to relax and have lunch on the umbrella-topped patio that extends over the beach. But people mostly return for Harold himself, who in 2002 was awarded “Caribbean Employee of the Year” by the Caribbean Hotel Tourism Association. Fortunately, for both his current and soon-to-be fans, he has no plans to leave anytime soon. “It’s a journey that I still enjoy”, he says.