Kauai's Best Bartender
Last night, RumFire Poipu Beach declared Jennifer Bryant of The Club at Kukuiula champion of the Kauai’s Best Bartender competition. In the contest’s second year, 16 finalists from the island’s food and beverage industry were challenged to showcase original Koloa Rum-based cocktails over a 15-week competition for the chance to earn the title and the $4,000 grand prize. Eric Carroll of La Spezia was named runner up and received a $1,000 second prize, both courtesy of Koloa Rum Company.
Beginning August 12, 2016, two competitors went head-to-head each week at RumFire to showcase their original, handcrafted Koloa Rum cocktails utilizing a different mystery ingredient. Mystery ingredients ranged from jabong, jackfruit and mango to dragonfruit, kombucha and bacon. In her journey to the final round, Bryant won the battles for coconut, ginger and Hawaiian sea salt, creating cocktails that were judged based on taste, balance, creativity, presentation, and use of mystery ingredient.
The final round, held Friday, November 18, enabled contestants to create their best Koloa Rum cocktail – with no mystery ingredient – for 250 guests at RumFire. Participating patrons cast their votes to determine the winner, along with an expert panel of judges.
The winning cocktail, “Malie,” which is the Hawaiian word for tranquility, includes Koloa Coconut Rum, kaffir lime leaves, fresh Hawaiian guava juice and essence of lemon. A version of the winning cocktail will be featured on RumFire’s menu over the next year.
COCKTAIL RECIPE: MALIE
¾-ounce Koloa Coconut Rum
1.5-ounces Hawaiian guava juice
Fever-Tree club soda
Kaffir lime leaf
Twist lemon peel inside glass to release essential oils. Add ice and pour Koloa Coconut Rum, guava juice and top with Fever-Tree club soda. Bruise kaffir lime leaf and add to glass.