Kings’ Cup Cocktail Competition toasts Lei Day celebration

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Visitors enjoyed free lei-making workshops all day, a farmers market, food booths, giveaways, and more. Photo Courtesy: Kings’ Shops

Kings’ Shops joined the second annual Waikoloa Lei Day Festival on April 30 in celebration of the art and history of lei-making in Hawai‘i.

Festivities took place all day throughout the resort area, including Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, and Queens’ Marketplace, in addition to Kings’ Shops. Visitors enjoyed free lei-making workshops all day, a farmers market, food booths, giveaways, and a full schedule of hula performances and live music.

A highlight of the day was the first-ever Kings’ Cup Cocktail Competition, sponsored by
Kuleana Rum Works, a Hawai‘i Island grower, distiller and blender. Bartenders Stephen
Lopez and Daniel Wadsworth from Lava Lava Beach Club clinched the title and set the bar
high for next year. Contestants from 14 different bars and restaurants mixed, muddled,
swizzled, shook and stirred creative concoctions for an enthusiastic crowd.


Teams of two competed in a Speed round and a Presentation round, featuring cocktails made
with Kuleana Rum. Judges and spectators had the opportunity to sample the specialty cocktails and vote on their favorite. Lopez and Wadsworth created their cocktail with
Kuleana’s Hōkūlei Agricole, a 92-proof, aged sipping rum.

“I was not a judge, but I loved that they used Hōkūlei Agricole,” said Kuleana Rum’s Regional
Sales Manager, Art Deakins. He said that consistency was a big part of the competition. “The
idea was not just to put on a big show; see who could outdo who, and never make that drink
again. Our hope was that that they would create rum cocktail they were proud of and actually
make and serve it at their bar.”

The idea for Kings’ Cup started coming together in late March. “Kings’ Shops reached out,”
said Deakins. “And I just had to say yes.” He had attended and competed in the World Mai Tai
Contest at Royal Kona Resort, and he and his partners had been talking about trying
something similar with their Kuleana rums.


“We’re thrilled with the success of the Kings’ Cup,” said Cheryl Beckley, Marketing and Local
Leasing Manager for the shopping center. “It was a great part of the Waikoloa Lei Day
Festival, and a fun way to toast the occasion. Our thanks to the many visitors, residents,
competitors, entertainers, lei makers and others who joined us. We hope to see everyone
next year.”

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