Best Bartender in Ocho Rios

When we first heard that Teddy Tucker had been described as “the best bartender in the Caribbean,” we expected to see a Tom Cruise-like character, straight out of Cocktail.

But Teddy doesn’t flip bottles behind his back, juggle glasses, and dance on the bar. This very reserved 70-something gentleman is simply friendly, proper, and personable—treating everyone from royalty to the not-so-rich with the same respect and sweet humour.

I took a seat at Teddy’s Beachside Bar at the Jamaica Inn, where he’s been serving up drinks for over half a century. While he mixed me a bloody Mary, he told me about some of his famous clients, like the poet behind Cats, TS Eliot; Dynasty star, Joan Collins; and the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret. He still remembers serving her a gin and tonic, and how nice and friendly she was.

But it’s the repeat clients that come back every year that really make him happy, said Teddy, mixing me a dirty banana. Over 90 per cent of the resort’s guests are regulars, and Teddy says they feel like part of his extended family.

“What’s your signature drink?” I asked, and with that Teddy mixed up a bloody bull, which includes vodka, chilled bouillon, and Worcester sauce.

Somehow Teddy had convinced me to have three drinks before noon. He really is the best bartender on the island. Cheers to you Teddy. I’m definitely coming back.


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