And It's As Tiki As F*ck!
Being asked to be a judge at a Tiki competition is one of the best things that can happen to anyone! Front and centre with the best view in the house for catching all the antics. Rum competitions tend to be livelier than most other spirit categories, but Tiki tops everything in terms of madcap acting, fire breathing, and amazing cocktails. Having survived the regional rounds with both eyebrows and perhaps more importantly - my dignity intact – I’m now happy to confirm the team that will be heading to Miami to defend an unbeaten record in the Tiki Take Over!
The Glasgow heat was epic in terms of time it took to run through all the competitors and whilst I didn’t see it first hand, Fraser Barrett was the obvious winner – highest score in the rum quiz (more about that later), best main presentation, best mystery round cocktail and (I think) fastest in the speed round… Pretty much nailed it then eh?
We can share Fraser’s winning Liltikini (and I don’t know how to pronounce that name either) recipe with you all in case you fancy giving it a whirl for yourself!
50ml Bacardi 8
25ml Sweet & Sour Lilt reduction
15ml Homemade Tiki Tonic
25ml Cardamom infused Mango Juice
Method: Shake & strain over crushed ice into topless Lilt can. Garnished with candied pink grapefruit and pineapple & pineapple leaves.
Sweet & Sour Lilt: reduce lilt with malic acid & fructose
Tiki Tonic: Lime, clove, anise, cinnamon, almond & ginger tonic syrup
I was able to catch up with the team (and join in as a judge) in Manchester, with the action taking place at The Liar’s Club. Brodie Meah (of Corridor bar) with his cocktail: A Zombie in Exile claimed his place in the team. Brodie performance was very strong – a good quiz score, mystery box cocktail and the fastest/cleanest speed round, combined with a sense of theatre and proper Tiki chat in the presentation. A worthy winner and a great addition to the team.
With the action relocating to Trailer Happiness in London, and with the largest number of competitors my sense of anticipation was super high for the final heat. Where Manchester had two stand out competitors, London had four and a number of others that ran them really close too. In the end, Joe (of Zetter Town House) won with his super all-encompassing main presentation. Proper levels of Tiki chat and knowledge, humour, brand knowledge and great stage presence. Nice touches with the après-tiki palate cleanser, use of fire and blender and strong mystery box drink. Did I mention his score in the quiz? Joe scored 17 out of 20 – the highest of any competitor involved in the competition. Hat’s off sir! Another worthy winner and the best guy to complete the team.
Special mention to Steve (Milk & Honey) for his amazing speed round. Only one duff cocktail and an amazing piña colada for the judges (and appropriated by me). Also to Dom (The American Bar, at the Savoy) – an amazing tasting cocktail featuring the best syrup ever tasted: a reduction of Bacardi Oakheart infused with all manner of fruits, citrus and spices. Clever, amazingly tasty and something I really must try to replicate for myself. Lots of fun – lots of rum and very fine cocktails. If all Sunday afternoons were like this, then we’d never get anything done on Monday’s…
So the team taking on the American’s (assuming they field a team this year) are:
Captain Lyndon Higginson
James ‘Bart’ Murphy
Special mention to May of Bacardi UK whom assumes the enviable task of team Mum.
So we’ll see you all in Miami for Rum Renaissance and the Tiki Take Over right? Find out more about the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival by visiting their official website: http://www.rumrenaissance.com/
- we’ll be featuring more information about the festival and the Tiki competition on TheFloatingRumShack.com
as we get it. So please don't forget to follow on Twitter
to be kept up to date with the competition as we follow it through to the finals in Miami in April.
Rum Databank: Bacardi Tiki Take Over 2014