Specialty Sips: Alex Rogers and Daylon Cornelius @ SALT (Morgan Resort)

Specialty Sips: Alex Rogers and Daylon Cornelius @ SALT (Morgan Resort)

In search of SXM’s hottest drink

Fellow drinks lovers, unite! Time to quench your thirst in another segment of an island-wide hunt for St. Maarten’s best drink!

The Friendly Island is sometimes also referred to as the “Little Miami of the Caribbean”, so it is high time to put those names to the test to discover where we can get both a friendly chat and a good drink. So, we took the crucial task upon ourselves to go out and about and sample the island’s specialty sips and then to report our findings back to all you thirsty people.

The best part? While we’re at it, we might as well ask the island’s talented bartenders, baristas, and smoothie specialists for their secret recipes so that you can try your hand at these special sips at home!

This week, our search for the island’s hottest drinks took us to SALT in the gorgeous Morgan Resort in Beacon Hill. Here, the bartending duo Alex Rogers and Daylon Cornelius told us about their passion for their craft and showed us how to make not one, not two, not three, but four delicious drinks.

SALT is set in a beautiful oceanfront location overlooking the resort’s infinity pool lined with palm trees and fire pits – so fresh breeze, sunny or starry skies and gorgeous views are guaranteed. Though the restaurant is located in the resort, SALT is open to the public for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks. Better yet, the resort offers a 15% staycation discount for locals!

It’s a sunny Friday afternoon, around 4pm, and hotel guests, local patrons, and even the resort’s staff members seem to be revelling in the resort’s exquisite ambiance. Some are still soaking up some rays at the edge of the glamourous pool, others are enjoying a craft cocktail at either of the two poolside bars, while others are indulging in an afternoon snack at the restaurant.

Alex and Daylon are both familiar and friendly faces behind SALT’s bar. They explain that they are the “A-team” of the bar because they work so well together and have so much fun doing so. The bartending buddies share a passion for making drinks that both taste and look divine, all while using the freshest ingredients – and the restaurant’s fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables garden makes it easier to do so.

Alex has been serving up drinks and smiles for more than twelve years. His favourite part? Meeting people and hearing their stories. “You learn a little bit about everyone you meet by making people feel comfortable,” he explains.

Daylon’s bartending career began nine years ago after observing how much fun the bartender was having while he was clearing out tables as a busboy. He says he loves making people smile, even if they are having a bad day. “Happy days, sad days – all can be solved with a good drink,” he adds.

Now it’s time to try some cocktails! We start with the two most popular drinks on the bar’s menu. First up is the perfectly pink Watermelon Mojito, which is just as refreshing and delicious as it sounds – made to be enjoyed while lounging by the pool, it’s a perfect drink for a hot summer day.

The second drink is just as fruity and perfectly balanced – no wonder it’s another bestseller. SALT’s Maho Muddle sells itself due to its vibrant purple colour (thanks, fresh blueberries) – it’s one of those drinks that you want to try for yourself when spotted in someone else's hands.

Next up are the bartender’s very own specialty sips. Both creations stem from their own imagination and cannot be found on the menu. Of course, they will be happy to make them for you - just don’t forget to tell him we sent you!

Daylon created his Ginger Tango on the spot for us – and we could not have been more impressed by it well-balanced flavours and sunshiny colour. It’s citrusy, sweet, and fruity with a hint of ginger – we could picture ourselves drinking (a few too) many at brunch.

Last but not least, Alex made us his signature Berry Love – yet another drink that lives up its name! Its sweet berrylicious flavour packs a punch, while the pineapple juice helps create a deliciously creamy froth.

Watermelon Mojito

½ oz cup fresh watermelon

½ oz club soda

10 mint leaves

2 oz light rum

1 oz simple syrup – for homemade: 2 parts sugar and 1 part water

1 oz citrus mix – SALT makes its own by combining fresh orange, lime and lemon juice

1 scoop of ice

Muddle mint and watermelon in a shaker. Add all other ingredients, save for the club soda and slightly shake. Pour into a tall glass, top with club soda and garnish with fresh mint and a watermelon slice. Oh, and ENJOY of course.

 

Maho Muddle

10 blueberries

6 mint leaves

¾ oz honey

½ oz citrus mix – SALT makes its own by combining fresh orange, lime and lemon juice

2 oz vodka

Garnish: dehydrated lemon, 3 blueberries and mint – optional

Muddle mint and blueberries in a shaker (here, a good muddle is essential for that vibrant purple colour) add honey, citrus, vodka and shake. Top with club soda, garnish, and ENJOY.

 

Ginger Tango

1 oz peach vodka

1 oz orange vodka

1 oz Cointreau or triple sec

Splash of simple syrup – depending on your preference

1 teaspoon ginger paste – SALT makes their own and you can too by blending ginger, lime, sugar and water in a blender

Splash of Aperol

1.5 oz. mango puree or juice

2 oz club soda

Combine all ingredients but the club soda in a shaker and – you guessed it – SHAKE. Pour into glass, top with club soda, garnish and ENJOY.

Berry Love

5 blueberries

5 raspberries

2 strawberries

¾ oz raspberry vodka

¾ oz orange vodka

½ oz citrus mix – SALT makes its own by combining fresh orange, lime and lemon juice

¼ oz simple syrup

Crush and muddle the berries in a shaker. Add all other ingredients and shake until it hurts. According to the expert, “if it doesn’t hurt, you are not shaking hard enough. You have to make sure it’s foamy.” Pour into a glass, garnish with extra berries, and ENJOY.

The Daily Herald

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