The ‘Captain’ of Seaview Gardens mixes his way to the top
St Aublyn 'Captain' Kidd mixes his way to the top. (Photos: Contributed)
As a youngster growing up in Seaview Gardens – that many refer to as one of Jamaica’s talent factories – St Aublyn ‘Captain’ Kidd’s first business idea was owning an airport.
Kidd had the drive to achieve these goals, but challenges made him rethink his goals, which was when he discovered mixology – which he believes are ‘more realistic dreams’.
Though the 33-year-old has never fully abandoned his aspirations, he found his passion pursuing a career in mixology, with growing popularity in corporate and entertainment circles.
‘Companies like Red Stripe/Heineken have contacted me for my services just as often as individuals book me for private events. While I am continuing to work on the lifelong dream of being an entrepreneur, I am also investing in my talent and pursuing my goals as a mixologist,’ Kidd told Loop Lifestyle.
‘As the epicurean culture evolves in Jamaica, I know the culinary scene will expand [too] and provide me with a larger platform to grow locally and internationally.’
Where it all began
According to the ‘Captain’, his interest in mixology started while working in food and beverage, where he naturally caught on to cocktail recipes.
Books, the internet, seminars, drinking on the job, and taking personal notes from the Swiss-trained food and beverage guru and business owner Sean Gonzales, were the tools Kidd needed to develop his career in mixology.
‘Mr Gonzales was an important mentor in my career in earlier years; I quickly excelled in the company where I trained staff and became the human resources/research and development manager and on-site event supervisor.
Over time, I studied all the liquors and learned most of the myths and stories about the trade and the tools.
‘In 2010, I won the International Bartending Competition’. Two years later Kidd was granted the opportunity to travel to the United States for the first time to judge the New York leg of the same competition.
He confessed that the ability to create great tasting drinks while entertaining and providing excellent customer service are among the most difficult aspects of the job; but points to his love of showmanship and seeing customers’ reactions after tasting his mixes, as motivators.
Mixology vs Bartending
Known for his eclectic presentation style, the ‘Captain’ noted that there is a difference between bartending and mixology.
‘If you think about the word mixology as an umbrella for ‘the study of cocktails’, then a mixologist is someone devoted to that study. A bartender is someone that works and tends to guests behind a bar.
Kidd believes ‘a bartender can be a mixologist, but a mixologist does not necessarily need to be a bartender’.
This is a topic of debate in the spirits community because the word mixologist was created to elevate the profession, but, Kidd is of the opinion that ‘it never needed elevating’.
He asserted that ‘mixologists create and serve drinks, bartenders serve people.’
Kidd’s immediate goal is to elevate mixology in Jamaica and to have more people respect the craft and skills of his profession.
‘I personally want to open a restaurant that is also a school so that I can play my part in growing the profession.’
‘I see ‘Captain Kidd’ as a global brand doing exclusive events, home bartender training, securing international brand opportunities and also representing non-liquor brands.’
Right now, I aim to do more local partnerships similar to what I have in the pipeline with Red Stripe, to showcase the profession.
He’s currently working on a mixology series with Red Stripe to show the versatility of beer.