Now in its second year the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai competition has once again got bars up and down the country pushing their own twists on this tiki classic.
The concept is simple. Come up with a tasty twist on the Mai Tai. Sell loads of them in your bar. Promote it on social media. Top bars compete at a final in London. Winners get a trip to St Lucia.
The trick is standing out from the crowd. Making yourselves noticed by the judging panel with the social media efforts is key, so we thought we’d have a look at some of our favourites so far this year (the competition is still running).
Alvino’s – Last years winners enjoyed their time in St Lucia so much they are fighting for another trip (greedy buggers). They have upped their game with a twist which includes a Ting syrup and are selling them for the bargain price of 2 for £9.95. On top of that they are holding a Chairman’s Mai Tai Bank Holiday Sunday terrace party on August 27th.
Colonel Porters – It appears Alvino’s have inspired bars across Newcastle with Nitehawks and Voodoo Cafe pushing hard, however it was Colonel Porters who stood out for us. To be honest anyone that names their drink The Whey Aye Mai Tai is always going to get our attention, but their recent presence at Northern Pride knocking out the drink also got plenty of social media love.
Trading House – Another of last years finalists are making a push to go one step further with their crowd pleasing Chocolate Orange Mai Tai. On top of a drink that will undoubtably be a hit in the bar they have discovered Boomerang and are making the most of it.
Ten Mill Lane – Leading the way in Cardiff, Ten Mill Lane have also discovered Boomerang as well as palm tree emoji’s. They are showing some love to their bartender friends with £5 Mai Tai’s on Industry Sunday’s as well as posting a fantastic Pirates of the Caribbean gif to help the promotion.
Panda & Sons – If you won with a photo then Panda’s would be taking the crown up to Edinburgh, this picture is doing the rounds to promote their Thai twist on the caribbean classic. Seeing as they are officially one of the top 4 best high volume bars in the world (courtesy of the Spirited Awards) no doubt the £7 serves are flying out of the door.
Twisted Lemon – Flying the flag for Brighton, Twisted Lemon are pushing their Reggae Ry-Tai hard and we selfishly would like them to make it to the final just so we can try their twist which includes Reggae-Reggae sauce. They may only have signed up to Twitter recently but they are making the most of it pushing their serve to anyone who’ll listen.
Milk – Reading has been turned into the unofficial UK capital of the Mai Tai thanks to Milk and their almond & fig twist. Not only are they knocking them out for £5 on Wednesday’s but they have taken the fun side of tiki on board with, amongst other things, a random ‘hey let’s serve it in a watermelon’ day. This alongside tastings and competitions have got them off to a very strong start.
It is probably important to point out at this point that BarLifeUK are not involved in the judging process and haven’t tried any of the drinks, these bars efforts just sparked our interest.
The good news is there is still time to enter and win yourself a trip to St Lucia, just head to this webpage for all the info.
We look forward to seeing what everyone does in the coming weeks and trying the finalists cocktails in London next month.