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Pre Mix-off Mai Tai contest results are in!
June 25, 2012 - Carla Tracy
Last week, the sun relentlessly tried not to set. It was Summer Solstice and the hot orb glowed red and hung low in the sky seemingly forever. The crowd didn’t notice as they were sipping cooling rum drinks and enjoying themselves. A few felt the heat and put on sunscreen, even though it was like, 6 p.m. It was outdoors and poolside at the Royal Ocean Terrace restaurant at Royal Lahaina Resort in Kaanapali.
A select group of bartenders were brought on stage. They mixed. They muddled. They shook their icy and exotic ingredients in martini shakers. They came from 11 top resorts and restaurants on Maui to try their hand for the top three slots in the Pre Mix-off Mai Tai Competition at the hotel. Joey Gottesman, spirits specialist and restaurant consultant for Young’s Market liquor distribution company, was the perfect emcee and kept the crowd going with his witty humor.
All the bartenders used Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum in their recipes and, of course, rocker and the rum company’s owner Sammy Hagar was one of the celebrity judges along with drummer Brad Hargreaves of Third Eye Blind, who will appear at a concert during the Ka‘anapali Fresh event at the hotel Sept. 2.
The top three winners of the competition get free round trip airfare, transfers, accommodations at the Royal Kona Resort, and entry to the Fourth Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival Aug. 18, which features a $10,000 prize and coveted title of the “World’s Best Mai Tai.”
First-place winner Christopher Nevins of the Four Seasons Resort Maui’s Lobby Lounge dazzled the judges with his Kipahulu Lulu. Second place winner was Blair Anderson of Mala Ocean Tavern in Lahaina, who impressed with The Modern Mai Tai; and third place went to James Shoemaker of Moana Cafe in Paia with his Year of the Dragon.
“The main event will be held on the Big Island August 18. It’s an all-day party that will feature a variety of activities, including the signature $10,000 World’s Best Mai Tai Mix-Off with 30 of the world’s top bartenders competing, a lively Beachbum Berry Mai Tai history seminar, Battle of the BBQ cook-off featuring Hawaii’s best chefs, Big Island Mai Tai Marketplace, and a special evening concert featuring one of today’s top rock bands,” says the press release.
For Royal Kona Resort Mai Tai Festival event tickets, call (808) 329-3111. Or visit Hawaii Hotels Website.
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Sammy Hagar and his wife, Kari Hagar, with their two daughters. photo by CARLA TRACY