Third annual Kauai’s Best Bartender Competition begins tonight

POIPU — RumFire Poipu Beach at Sheraton Kauai Resort and Koloa Rum Company are once again on the hunt for Kauai’s Best Bartender.

In the contest’s third year, the island’s food and beverage industry professionals have been challenged to showcase original Koloa Rum-based cocktails for the chance to earn the title and the $4,000 grand prize.

The runner-up will receive a $1,000 prize; both cash prizes are courtesy of Koloa Rum. Over the 15 weeks of the single-elimination tournament, contestants will go head-to-head by creating an original cocktail featuring a mystery ingredient or theme chosen the prior week. A winner will be named Kauai’s Best Bartender in the final round on Nov. 17.

Every Friday evening beginning tonight, patrons of RumFire Poipu Beach will have the opportunity to cast their votes between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. to determine the winner of each round, along with a judges’ panel with a weighted vote.

Participants can enjoy an eight-ounce portion of each contestant’s Koloa Rum-based cocktail for $16. The RumFire culinary team will create a weekly appetizer special featuring the mystery ingredient or theme as an optional pairing for patrons.

In the 2016 Kauai’s Best Bartender competition, more than 6,000 Koloa-Rum-based cocktails were served over the course of the competition.

Jennifer Bryant of The Club at Kukui‘ula was named the 2016 winner with her original “Malie” cocktail, featuring Koloa Coconut Rum, kaffir lime leaves, fresh Hawaiian guava juice and essence of lemon.

Nilo Badua was the inaugural champion in 2015 with his Plantation Mai Tai, a twist on the classic mai tai enhanced with fresh lime juice, homemade lavender falernum, sugarcane juice, lemongrass simple syrup and seasonal ingredients.

Versions of the past winning cocktails are currently featured on RumFire’s menu.

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