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World’s Best Mai Tai Revealed at the Royal Kona Resort

August 20, 2018, 11:21 AM HST (Updated August 28, 2018, 9:57 AM)
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The Royal Kona Resort held the 10th Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival on Saturday, Aug. 18, showcasing 21 of the world’s top bartenders and mixologists as they competed for the title of Mai Tai World Champion.

2018 Mai Tai Festival PC: Brian E Powers/Hawaiian Images Photography

The 2018 Festival crowned Hawai‘i’s very own Justin Park of Bar Leather Apron in Honolulu, the winner of the $10,000 first place prize and coveted title as the creator of the “World’s Best Mai Tai.”

2018 Mai Tai Festival Winner Justin Park. PC: Brian E Powers/Hawaiian Images Photography

This is Park’s third win in the past seven years, securing top honors in 2012 and 2015. Last year’s winner, Kevin Beary of Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago, Illinois placed second and received $5,000. Third place prize of $2,500 was awarded to Cory Star, also with Three Dots and A Dash in Chicago.

2018 Mai Tai Festival second and third place winners Cory Star and Kevin Beary. PC: Brian E Powers/Hawaiian Images Photography

For the past ten years, the Royal Kona Resort has been celebrating the popular Mai Tai cocktail gathering hundreds of visitors including celebrities to cheer on their favorite mixologist. The three-hour contest produced unique recipes paying tribute to the classic rum drink with the cocktail creations judged by a special panel based on taste, creativity and name.

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