Make It Right: The Jamaican Ten-Speed

Categories: Last Call

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JK Grence
Thought the Jamaican Ten Speed was a saccharine shot? Think again.
If you've lived around here for more than a few years, you're probably familiar with a little drink called the Jamaican Ten-Speed. Odds are good that your favorite bartender will whip up one for you in the blink of an eye. Then you go on vacation in the Caribbean. A Jamaican Ten-Speed sounds like a perfect idea. You order one . . . and the bartender has no idea what you're talking about.

If this has happened to you, you found out the hard way that the Jamaican Ten-Speed isn't a Caribbean drink at all. In fact, it's an Arizona original. It was created by bartender Roger Gobler in the early 1990s, at the Scottsdale location of the now-defunct Café Terra Cotta.

At first glance, the Jamaican Ten-Speed looks like a shot thrown together on a whim. The truth is, Gobler spent quite a bit of time making careful adjustments to the recipe until everything was in perfect balance. If you taste one thrown together alongside one made by the original recipe, it's a revelation. The drink usually comes out hyper-sweet, reeking of artificial flavoring. The genuine article shows a master's touch.


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