New world record cocktail tasting as kick-off for ‘Appeteaser Week’

   New world record cocktail tasting  as kick-off for ‘Appeteaser Week’

Cruise passengers and residents raise their glasses high as they toast with the “Sweet SXM” cocktail at Sharky’s, at Port St. Maarten.

PHILIPSBURG--Thursday morning, June 15, cruise passengers and residents jointly broke the current record for "largest cocktail tasting event" to kick off this year’s “St. Maarten Flavors” campaign.

In total, 483 enthusiastic participants simultaneously toasted and sipped their "Sweet SXM" cocktail provided by Caribbean Liquors & Tobacco at the Sharky’s venue at Port St. Maarten. With this successful attempt organised by the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA), destination St. Maarten broke the Russian record of assembling 354 cocktail drinkers at the Wild Turkey Jazz Festival in Moscow on November 18, 2017.

Over 400 cruise passengers of Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas registered for the event and received tickets on board, as had volunteers, staff members at the port and local media. Official witnesses and international media were also present.

After disembarking the ship, cruise passengers made their way past the live steel pan band to the big tents set up next to Sharky's Bar, where they could register and get their signature cocktail, made with El Dorado Rum, Disaronno Amaretto, fruit punch and pineapple juice.

Once assembled, the crowd counted down and raised their glasses. In doing so, visitors and locals officially kicked off St. Maarten Flavors 2023 programme. Organisers made sure to adhere to the official World Records conditions, such as continuous recording, participants' signatures, official forms and independent judges and stewards.

The joint toast did not just perform beyond this record, but also served as a unique welcome cocktail experience for passengers of the world’s largest cruise ship, hoping to leave a lasting impression of the “Friendly Island”. According to the SHTA, the collaboration with Royal Caribbean went flawlessly and their efforts to get passengers to participate in the record made it a successful event.

SHTA Executive Director Wyb Meijer is pleased with the outcome and hopes to continue organising similar events. “In 2016, SHTA conducted research to find out why destination St. Maarten stands out to visitors. They concluded that cornucopia, or the plenitude of food and beverages available, is one of the five top reasons visitors keep coming back to the island. So, when it comes to culinary World Records, St. Maarten has much potential to grab the attention of international foodies.”

Port St. Maarten Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alexander Gumbs, host and co-sponsor of the event, thanks 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 is also pleased with the successful means to put St. Maarten in the culinary spotlight. According to Director May-ling Chun, “The goal of the St. Maarten Flavors programme 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.

In the run-up to the St. Maarten Flavors prix fixe month of November, the SHTA organised “Appeteaser Week”, taking place June 15-24. During this week, a selection of restaurants already offers a preview of their “signature dish” designed for that month. Restaurants offering a three-course signature dish for US $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.

Foodies interested in staying up to date with June Appeteaser Week and St. Maarten Flavors November can visit or subscribe to the newsletter by emailing

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 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.


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