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Mai Tai Festival Crowns World Champion

August 18, 2019, 1:45 PM HST (Updated August 21, 2019, 9:46 AM)
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11th Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival at The Royal Kona Resort on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. PC: Brian Power

There’s a new, yet familiar, Mai Tai World Champion, who claimed her second crown this decade at The Royal Kona Resort over the weekend.

The resort celebrated its 11th Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, awarding the $10,000 grand prize to Mai Tai World Champion, Christina Maffei of Liquid Artistry in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Maffei edged out 22 of the world’s top bartenders and mixologists for the title. This is Maffei’s second win after securing the top honor back in 2011, a resort press release stated. Cory Starr of Tiki Tatsu-Ya in Austin, Texas, placed second and received $5,000. The third place prize of $2,500 was awarded to Hawai‘i contender, Dane Dostert of The Mill House in Wailuku, Maui.

For the past 11 years, the Royal Kona Resort on Hawai‘i Island has been celebrating the popular Mai Tai cocktail, gathering hundreds of visitors to cheer on their favorite mixologists.

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This year’s event featured celebrity appearances by Aaron Sanchez of the television series MasterChef, Shawn Ford from Bar Rescue, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry who has been named the most influential cocktail personality and Hawai‘i celebrity chef Sam Choy. The three-hour international contest produced unique recipes paying tribute to the classic rum drink with cocktail creations judged on taste, creativity and name, the release continued.

For more information visit http://www.donsmaitaifest.com.

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