Iron TikiTender – A tropical bartending competition


The Iron TikiTender is a LIVE tropical bartending competiton to be held on July 12th of 2014 during Tiki Kon in Vancouver, WA.

Only three finalists will be selected for the LIVE competition between all the recipes received of bartenders and amateurs,and compete for a 1000$ prize. The submitted recipes only have the requirement of include at least one of the sponsors ingredients: DonQ Rum, Appleton Estate, Coruba and B.G. Reynolds’ Syrups.

Talking with Blair Reynolds, he explains to me what are the different tests prepared for the contestants:

Round 1 – Make the most Mai Tais

Contestants will be making nothing but Mai Tais for 10 minutes to see who can make the most Mai Tais! A random Mai Tai from each contestant will be brought before the judges for judgement on flavor and presentation. You are welcome to make your own or house Mai Tai recipe, so long as it is a mixture of rum, curaçao, orgeat and lime. Points will be awarded based on judges opinion as well as # of mai tais made.

Round 2 – Most Garish Garnish

It’s time to show off your garnishing skills! We’ll be providing a drink for you to garnish with whatever you can come up with! What I want to see from this round is big multi-tiered garnishes, flaming garnishes with cinnamon KA-BOOM, sparklers are optional too. I will provide an array of fruit and other items, but you are welcome to bring your own unique items as well. You will have 10 minutes, and be garnishing a drink in BIG volcano bowl! I’m just throwing this out there, but there may be bonus point for your garnish being on fire, with a sprinkle of cinnamon for some big sparks. Points will be awarded for creativity and size.

Round 3 – Tropical Trivia!

This is going to be the knowledge round, and we will be cleaning off the bars for the final round. I will be developing the questions and I’m not planning on making it easy. I can make you this promise though, all of the questions will come from Potions of the Caribbean, Sippin’ Safari, and Beachbum Remixed. Read those cover to cover and you’ll be relatively safe. There will also be a blind tasting round where the points are for anyone, so be sure to know your gold, dark, and overproof rums!

Sample questions:

Who is said to have invented the Daiquiri? (answer: Jennings Cox)

What style of rum is the only rum to have a Designation of Origin? (Answer: Martinique Rhum Agricole)

Round 4 – Iron TikiTender

The big round! This is going to be our black box secret ingredient, only to be revealed as the round starts! You will have 10 minutes to develop a cocktail that will be judged on appearance, flavor, and the “Tiki Factor” (does the drink fit in a tropical drinking establishment). 

The judges of the competition will be:

-Jim Rondall of Rumba, Seattle, WA

-Michael Shea of Rum Club, Portland, OR

-Martin Cate of Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco, CA

The M.C. of the competition will be Blair Reynolds of Hale Pele, Portland, OR…and making the original soundtrack of the event, The Ukadeliks plays the live music.

The finalists of the competition are:

-Marie King from Tonga Hut (CA)

-Jason Alexander from Tacoma Cabana (WA)

-Felix Fernandez from Siro Urban Italian Kitchen (FL)

Blair also share with me the recipes and pictures of the three finalists and allow me to publish it on the blog.


Marie King – Tonga Hut, Los Angeles, CA, USA
1 oz Don Q Cristal silver rum
1 oz Appleton V/X rum
1/2 oz Hum Botanical Spirit liqueur
1 oz Finest Call Passion Fruit Purée
1/2 oz Monin Organic Agave syrup
1/2 oz fresh orange juice
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
6 drops Pernod



 Felix Fernandez – Siro urban Italian kitchen, Orlando, FL, USA

2.25 oz Appleton estate 12 year
1oz lime juice
1oz Dons mix
.75oz aperol
.75 B.G. Reynolds orgeat syrup
.5 oz Orange juice
3 dashes angostura bitters
Gutted pineapple
Spent lime shell to turn inside out
1 cinnamon stick
Half a star anise
Caramel for sealant for lime boat
1 oz Wray and nephew overproof rum


 Jason Alexander – Tacoma Cabana, Tacoma, WA, USA

Eldritch Zombie

2 heavy dashes of Angostura bitters
6 drops absinthe
3 drops almond extract
1 1/2oz lime juice
3/4oz pineapple juice
1/2oz BG Reynolds Passion Fruit syrup
1/2oz BG Reynolds Falernum
1/2oz apricot liqueur
1/2oz Okolehao liqueur
1oz Coruba Dark
1oz El Dorado 8yr
1oz Plantation Original Dark Overproof
Shake all ingredients with ice and pour unstrained into a tall 16oz glass
Float 1/2oz Campari
Garnish with a mint sprig, orange twist and a hollowed out flaming lime pot
Also this day, some classes are scheduled in the Quay Annex bar at the Red Lion on the Quay in Vancouver, WA:

Noon – The International Tiki Takeover!
Panelists: TBD, finalists for Iron TikiTender

The Tiki world is shaking up the world! Tropical drinks are taking the globe by storm, with new bars popping up from here to Hamburg! Our selection of panelists, who are also finalists for Iron TikiTender, will be shaking up some of their world famous cocktails and providing tips and techniques for mixing your own at home! Tickets include three cocktails and take-home recipe cards.

1pm – Rum Beyond Tiki, presented by Appleton

Panelists: Michael Shea of Rum Club (Portland), Jim Romdall of Rumba (Seattle)

Did you know that rum lives outside of the world of Donn Beach and Trader Vic? Our panel of esteemed bartenders will discuss making delicious rum concoctions featuring amaros and bitters, avoiding anything associated with a paper parasol. Focus will be on ingredients that work well with rum, and proper drink making techniques. Audience members will be treated to two cocktails and take-home recipe cards.

2pm – Home Tiki Bar Basics, presented by Don Q Rum
Panelists: Craig Hermann of Monkey Hut in Exile, Blair Reynolds of Reynolés Galley

Have you ever wanted to build a tiki bar at home, but weren’t sure how to source tropical decor and cocktail ingredients? Craig and Blair will discuss setting up a tropical environment with your own unique twists, finding the right decor, glassware, and cocktails that say “Paradise in a basement”. Tickets will include two cocktails and take-home materials and recipes.

3pm – Regarding Rum, presented by Hale Pele
Panelists: Martin Cate of Smuggler’s Cove, Blair Reynolds of Hale Pele

Have you ever wondered how rum is made? Maybe you know that, but want to know the right selection of Rums for your tiki bar. Martin and Blair discuss the making of rum, putting together a quality selection of spirits for your home or professional tiki bar. Tickets include tastings of a multitude of rums and takeaway material.

Tickets for Classes and Iron TikiTender available at the Tiki Kon website.

Thanks to Blair Reynolds for the info and support and good luck for the contestants, specially to my tiki friend Jason Alexander!!!!


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