Tiki-inspired competition names its ‘Cocktail Kahuna’

Jamie Kimber

Jamie Kimber (pictured) from London bar Trailer Happiness beat other bartenders and tiki enthusiasts to be named the first “Cocktail Kahuna”.

He impressed judges with a tiki-inspired creation, Puaura Fizz, which combines grappa with Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, hibiscus syrup, lemon juice, sugar syrup, egg white and orange bitters.

The Cocktail Kahuna competition was organised by rum experts TheFloatingRumShack.com with tiki design and barware specialists Cheeky Tiki, which hosted the event at its tiki bar in Hackney Wick, London. They kept it free of any brand sponsorship.

They challenged bartenders to produce a Mai Tai and their tiki-inspired creation in 20 minutes, with no requirement for rum to be used in the new cocktail recipe.

It featured 10 competitors, of which six were professional bartenders and the others were home tiki bar enthusiasts.

The judges were rum expert Paul McFadyen, Cheeky Tiki co-founder Jamie Wilson and Pauline Holland, co-owner and writer at TheFloatingRumShack.com.

They felt that an honourable mention should be made to Liz Stevenson, one of the four amateur bartenders present, for achieving third place behind Joe Schofield of The Savoy in second place.

Jamie said: “It was so good to see the standard was so high. For Liz to achieve third place really highlights the dedication and creativity of the enthusiasts that love the tiki lifestyle.”

Kahuna is defined by Pukui & Elbert’s Hawaiian Dictionary as a “priest, sorcerer, magician, wizard, minister, expert in any profession”.

TheFloatingRumShack.com plans to make the competition an annual fixture.

Puaura Fizz by Jamie Kimber

40ml Luigi Francoli Do Vespolina E Nebbiolo Grappa
20ml Luxardo Maraschino
25ml Lemon juice
10ml Sugar syrup
10ml Hibiscus syrup
15ml Egg white
2 dash Orange bitters
30ml Soda water
A spray of Pernod Absinthe
Garnish: Orange slice, lemon wedge

Shake all the ingredients except the soda water and absinthe and strain into a tall glass. Top with soda water. Finish with a spray of Pernod Absinthe. Garnish with an orange slice and a lemon wedge.

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