Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Campaign Returns to Celebrate 75 Years of the Mai Tai

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Chairman’s Reserve St Lucia Rum is calling for entries for the 2019 Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Challenge, with the prize of a visit to St Lucia in 2020 at stake.

Between now and August, bars are asked to create their own version of this classic rum cocktail, with four finalists going head to head at a London venue in September.
For details of how to enter, contact Emporia Brands, or go to: https://www.emporiabrands.com/chairmans-mai-tai.

2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the Mai Tai, when Vic Bergeron – “Trader Vic” – created a drink in his bar in Oakland, California, for visitors from Tahiti. Their reaction to the first sip was a cry of “mai tai roa ae!”, which can be roughly translated as “out of this world!”. The original included two very different rums – one molasses, the other Agricole – with flavours of citrus and almond, which provides plenty of scope for innovation. “We had an idea to encourage bartenders to play with Chairman’s Reserve in the Mai Tai cocktail because of how well we believed our rums fit the profile of this traditional tiki cocktail,” says Sergin John Baptiste, Marketing Director of St. Lucia Distillers.

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The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Challenge is a UK bartender competition that launched four years ago with Emporia Brands. The competition is back again for 2019 after last year’s excellent challenge and final, where Café Pacifico from London were crowned the winners at The Magic Roundabout in Shoreditch and received the amazing prize of two places on the Chairman’s Reserve Rum visit to St. Lucia, following in the footsteps of previous winners Milk in Reading and Alvino’s in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The 2019 Mai Tai challenge will follow the same format – simply create a signature Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai serve, register it on the website, then promote it in your bar throughout July and August and on social media. The four teams scoring the most points will be invited to the UK final, during which they will create their own pop-up bar and re-create their signature Mai Tai serve to the trade and consumers. The bar with the most votes will win the once-in-a-lifetime trip to St. Lucia.

“I was taken aback by the passion these skillful bartenders had for Chairman’s Reserve,” comments Margaret Monplaisir, Managing Director of St Lucia Distillers. “Their attention to every detail, their enthusiasm, and knowledge of Chairman’s Reserve was remarkable.”

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New Caribbean Inspired Bar and Café to Open in South Manchester

Marigot Bay Bar & Cafe Logo#BeInspired

A new Caribbean inspired venue is to open within King’s Court of Altrincham, South Manchester on July 20th, 2018.

Dave Marsland of Drinks Enthusiast Ltd has chosen the attractive leisure and office complex of King’s Court and its secluded courtyard off one of the main streets of the Cheshire town as the home of his first bar and café. Marigot Bay Bar & Café, named after Marigot Bay of St Lucia in the Caribbean, is the creation of several years of inspiration and experiences, finally coming together to offer South Manchester a bar and café that takes you through the many tropical islands via chilled island beers, tropical cocktails and some of the finest Caribbean coffee and cocoa available.

With the walls adorned with memorabilia picked up from Dave’s travels to the Caribbean, including Marigot Bay itself, Marigot Bay Bar & Café re-creates the tranquil, relaxing experience of the bay, located on the western coast of Saint Lucia and surrounded on three sides by steep, forested hills with the inland portion of the bay forming a hurricane hole used to shelter boats from hurricanes. It’s here that it’s famous for its calming waters and palm tree lined beaches that offer a quiet escape from the hustle of city life. It’s this that Dave has re-created, meaning low ambient and traditional Caribbean radio, a focus on traditional drink serves and attentive table service.

Marigot Bay Bar & Café has a capacity of 30 seating, with a first-come-first-serve policy during its hours of operation. Open from Wednesday to Sunday, Marigot Bay Bar & Café focuses on Caribbean origins, including a selection of beers such as Banks of Barbados and Carib of Trinidad and Tobago, coffee sourced from the famous Blue Mountain region of Jamaica and a selection of rum and rhums from across the Caribbean islands, including Chairman’s Reserve of St Lucia, Foursquare of Barbados, Appleton Estate of Jamaica, Havana Club of Cuba and Rhum Clément of Martinique.

Chairman's Reserve

There’s also a focus on the traditional rum serves found on the islands themselves, including the Pusser’s Painkiller, known as the “Official Cocktail of the British Virgin Islands”, Havana Club’s original Cuban Mojito and Gosling’s Black Seal, the tempest in Bermuda’s favourite cocktail the Dark ‘n Stormy. The menu is coupled with a selection of non-rum favourites that can be found on the bars across the Caribbean too, as well as mixers such as fresh coconut water and Ting, the sparkling Jamaican grapefruit juice.

Marigot Bay itself is a historic landmark, having been the site of several battles between the French and British navies, meaning a great opportunity to focus on some of the islands favourite rums that honour the naval history of St Lucia. Expressions from the recent released Admiral Rodney range will be available to experience in special guided tutorials that focus on the aromas and flavour perception of each.

With tribute to Meimi Sanchez, Global Brand Ambassador for Havana Club and her sensory masterclass technique, Marigot Bay Bar & Café has ruled out the usual live music element seen in most venues, instead opting for low-level background music from traditional Caribbean radio stations, producing a calmer experience for all customers and releasing optimum emotions when enjoying a tipple of choice.

Dave himself has over a decade of experience within the drinks industry, creating brand agency Drinks Enthusiast in 2011, Manchester Rum Festival in 2017, Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress in 2017, co-owner of spirits retail business Riddles Emporium in Altrincham and a national social media and publication presence as a drinks journalist.

Opening Hours;
Wednesday-Friday from 5pm to late and from 12noon to late on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Address;
Marigot Bay Bar & Café, 6 King’s Court, Railway Street, Altrincham, WA14 2RD

Website;
www.marigotbaybarandcafe.com

The Irishman’s Bounty from Saint Lucia – Founder’s Reserve with a Hint of Rum!

launch of the Irishman Founders Reserve Caribbean Cask Finish

Walsh Whiskey Distillery has released the second expression in The Irishman Founder’s Reserve Cask Series, a limited edition finished in rum casks from the tiny tropical Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. The Irishman Founder’s Reserve – Caribbean Cask Finish, a super-premium whiskey, is a rare vatting of Single Pot Still and Single Malt whiskeys finished for 6 months in Chairman’s Reserve Rum casks.

In recent years, as part of his research into new cask finishes for his portfolio of whiskeys, Walsh Whiskey founder, Bernard Walsh, has sourced casks from a range of countries including Spain, France, China, Kentucky and Italy. This limited edition, of just 12 casks, began in 2014 when he made the trip to the island of Saint Lucia in the West Indies in search of rare casks to give a special expression to his original whiskey.

The Irishman Founder’s Reserve, is distilled entirely in copper pot stills and Bernard’s journey took him to visit the famous St. Lucia Distillers (established 1932) where they also use copper pot stills to distil their rum. While there, Bernard handpicked 12 oak casks and he chose to age them in St. Lucia Distillers’ iconic Chairman’s Reserve Rum for a minimum of 2 years from 2015. The casks were subsequently brought to Ireland in the autumn of 2017 and used to finish a batch of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve for 6 months.

John Kelly, Commercial Director, Walsh Whiskey Distillery, said: “St. Lucia Distillers, who produce Chairman’s Reserve Rum, are renowned as a prestigious operation first established and run by the Barnard family for almost 90 years. Bernard was confident that he would be able to select from a high quality stock of well cared for casks imbued with a classical rum flavour. This Caribbean Cask Finish release will complement our highly successful ‘The Irishman Founder’s Reserve – Marsala Cask’ finishes of 2017. We hope the lucky few who secure bottles will enjoy this unique whiskey which is characterised by tropical fruits and spices.”

The release is limited to just 12 casks with 380 bottles per cask. Each bottle is individually numbered and signed by Bernard Walsh. This premium whiskey is now for sale across just 7 selected international markets namely; Ireland (including Dublin Airport), the USA, Canada, Russia, Germany, France and Holland. Of course bottles can also be purchased by visitors to Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak in Ireland.

The Irishman Founder’s Reserve – Caribbean Cask Finish is triple distilled entirely in copper pot stills, natural non-chill filtered, aged in American oak bourbon barrels before being finished for 6 months in the Chairman’s Reserve Rum Casks and, finally, bottled at 46% ABV.

Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Campaign Returns for 2018

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Spirits innovator Emporia Brands and award-winning Chairman’s Reserve rum of St Lucia Distillers are proud to announce the launch of the 2018 Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai campaign.

After yet another successful campaign in 2017, with winners Milk Bar from Reading representing the UK to second place in the 2017 international final, this year see’s the return of the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai campaign, a collaboration between the World Spirit Awards 2018 winning Chairman’s Reserve rum range from St Lucia Distillers, and award-winning UK importer Emporia Brands.

Entries are open now and we ask bartenders across the UK to submit their twist on a Mai Tai, a serve closely associated with Chairman’s Reserve, using two expressions of the St Lucian rum (Original, White Label, Spiced and Forgotten Cask) as well as incorporating influence from the local culture of their venue, either the UK or their more specific territory. Entry deadline is June 30th at midnight,

All entrants are required to promote their creation over the two-month period of July and August, earning a variety of points that are rewarded for a combination of Chairman’s Reserve sales, social media activations, media content such as photos and videos, and event collaborations.

Once the campaign finishes, the top four venues who have gained the most points from all the entries will be invited down to London and top event space and bar The Magic Roundabout at Old Street station on Monday 17th September. Here, each venue will be asked to create their winning recipe to a VIP crowd of journalists and rum enthusiasts, with the hope of impressing them enough to vote as their favourite Mai Tai of the evening. The venue with the most tokens win themselves two plane tickets to St Lucia, the home of Chairman’s Reserve, in March 2019 as part of the immersive Chairman’s XI.

To submit your entry, please visit https://www.emporiabrands.com/chairmans-mai-tai

To enjoy a Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai,

– 40ml Chairman’s Reserve Original
– 10ml Chairman’s Reserve Spiced
– 25ml lime juice
– 15ml triple sec
– 12.5ml orgeat syrup

Shake & strain over crushed ice. Serve in tiki mug or old-fashioned glass. Add 2 dashes of Angostura and garnish with mint sprig.

Swedish Victory In The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Challenge 2017

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The last two weeks has seen me embrace my favourite rum brand more than ever with a trip to St Lucia for the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai season. Hosted at Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina, the 5* venue became the hub for a host of international and island based bartenders for several days, welcoming with a Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Ice Tea upon arrival and offering the relaxed and chilled vibes St Lucia is famous for.

The aim of the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai season is to culminate in a combined final of winning efforts from across the world from the last year, paired with St Lucian counterparts to crown the ultimate Mai Tai team and recipe. Representatives include the United Kingdom, USA, Spain, France, Portugal and Sweden, who each won their respective national heats to earn their way to the final.

After being inspired by a tour of St Lucia Distillers within the Roseau Valley, spiced rum talks from local producers, and an insightful chat on all things tiki by the renowned bartender and owner of Spirit of Tiki, Georgi Radev, culminating in the paired teams having the opportunity to experience the Castries Market in the capital city and pick up some local and home-produced ingredients and vessels, ready for the evenings finale.

Mai Tai

With 5 judges, including myself and Alva Preville (Taste of the Caribbean winning bartender in 2010 amongst his host of accolades), each paired team had to create a twist on the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai, using their inspiration from their trip so far, whilst also showing off teamwork and producing to us all a display that would be worthy of the top prize!

With magic tricks and crowd chants for showmanship, it all accompanied serves such as the ‘Sop It To Me Baby’ by 3rd place winners Anthony Guaetta (Twin River Casino, USA) and Daniel Francois (Capella, St Lucia) that saw Chairman’s Reserve Spiced mixed with the 6th edition of 1931 rum, a homemade spiced liqueur and Key Lime juice. Second place had the ‘Chairman’s Spiced Intellect’ presented by Andrew Turner (Milk Bar, UK) and Ron Hillar (Capella, St Lucia). They shook up a blend of their homemade spiced syrup, Chairman’s Reserve Forgotten Cask, lime juice, pineapple juice, Angostura bitters and a dash of Chairman’s Reserve Spiced, complete with a pineapple, ginger and rosemary garnish.

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The winning drink though? It was the ‘Helen of Tiki’ by Sharam Mohebbi of OGBG Bar & Restaurant in Sweden and his St Lucian counterpart Stephen Peter. Mixing Chairman’s Reserve Original and Chairman’s Reserve Spiced with Caribbean sherbet, ginger spice and passion fruit plus freshly squeezed lime, it won the judges plaudits! Earning them a cash prize, trophies and a trip for Sharam back to St Lucia, and Stephen to Sweden, plus local television coverage, it’s meant a truly well-deserved effort from both the winning team and all participants in placing them on the map when it comes to the Mai Tai cocktail!

Look out for the 2018 Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai season as more countries become involved with the challenge, as well as plenty of opportunities to experience a variety of Mai Tai twists, or indeed you can create Sharam’s and Stephen’s today!

Winning Cocktail
‘Culture Paradise’


40ml Chairman’s Reserve Original

30ml Chairman’s Reserve Spiced
30ml Caribbean Sherbet
20ml Ginger spice & passionfruit
20ml Freshly squeezed lime

Shaken over ice and served within a bowl or goblet. 

For more information on St Lucia, visit here.
Learn more about Chairman’s Reserve by visiting here.
To experience Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina, visit here.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Reading’s Milk Bar Named Winners Of The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Campaign

Milk Mai Tai
Spirits innovator Emporia Brands and award-winning Chairman’s Reserve rum of St Lucia Distillers, are proud to announce the winning venue for the 2017 Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai campaign.

Milk Bar from Reading were announced on Tuesday 26th September winners at The Magic Roundabout, one of London iconic pop-up sites. The final saw five venues from across the UK recreate their Chairman’s Mai Tai’s to the public and VIP judges, hoping to win a trip for two to St Lucia as part of the prestige Chairman’s XI programme.

Joining Milk at the final were last year’s winners Alvino’s of Newcastle upon Tyne, Colonel Porter’s, also of Newcastle upon Tyne, Ten Mill Lane from Cardiff and wild card entry of Panda & Sons from Edinburgh.

With a secret panel of judges on hand to test out each cocktail, Milk were deemed worthy winners for 2017 and earnt their place on the plane to St Lucia.

Winning Recipe*:

Pearl of the Caribbean

35ml Chairman’s Reserve Spiced
20ml Chairman’s Reserve Gold
15ml fresh lime juice
35ml milk shrub no.2
3 dash angostura bitters
Shake and strain over crushed ice in up-cycled food tin. Garnish with a thyme sprig, dehydrated lime and desiccated coconut.

*Shrub Recipe

200ml caster sugar
175ml cold water
Whole fig, in 8ths
2 big lime peels
50ml crushed almonds
25ml chairman spiced
15ml orange flower water
50ml red wine vinegar

Method –

Bring sugar and water to boil, dissolve sugar fully. Add figs and lime peel and simmer for 5 min. Remove from heat and add crushed almonds. Bring back to boil and simmer for 2 min. Add Chairman’s and orange flower water. Simmer for 1 min. Add red wine vinegar. Simmer for 1 min, let cool slightly and filter through coffee filter.

Final Five Named In The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Campaign

MaiTai
Spirits innovator Emporia Brands and award-winning Chairman’s Reserve rum of St Lucia Distillers, are proud to announce the final five venues who will be participating in the UK final of the current Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai campaign.

The evening, to be held at The Magic Roundabout, one of the cities iconic pop-up sites in London, will feature five venues from across the UK who have been tasked during July and August to promote their twist on the classic Mai Tai cocktail using two expressions of Chairman’s Reserve. Once gaining a spot in the final, the winning venue are rewarded with a training visit for two to St Lucia as part of the prestige Chairman’s XI programme.

Earning their way to the final on Tuesday 26th September will be last year’s winners Alvino’s of Newcastle upon Tyne, Colonel Porter’s, also of Newcastle upon Tyne, Milk from, Ten Mill Lane from Cardiff and our wild card entry of Panda & Sons from Edinburgh.
The respective bars will now be invited down to Magic Roundabout next Tuesday to re-create their Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai cocktail to the public at the biggest Mai Tai party of the year!

With a secret panel of judges on hand to test out each cocktail too, the winning bar will find out on the evening whether they have earnt their place on the plane to St Lucia later in the year.

Venue: The Magic Roundabout, Old Street Tube Station, London, EC1Y 1BE
Timings: 7pm – late. Open to general public and trade.

St Lucia Itinerary for the winning venue:

Day 1: Arrival in Saint Lucia
Day 2: Visit of Saint Lucia Distillers, local art makers & the Castries market
Day 3: Training session for local bartenders & Friday night in Gros Islet with the SLD Team
Day 4: Local Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Competition judged by European winners and guest shift in the evening at Chairman’s Reserve event
Day 5: Day out on catamaran with local bartenders & SLD team
Day 6: Flights back home

Winner Named In The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Campaign

MaiTai
Spirits innovator Emporia Brands and award-winning Chairman’s Reserve rum of St Lucia Distillers, are proud to announce the winner of the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai campaign for 2016!

The final, held at The Magic Roundabout in London last night, one of the cities iconic pop-up sites, featured four venues from across the UK who were tasked during June and July to promote their twist on the classic Mai Tai cocktail using two expressions of Chairman’s Reserve. Utilising social media, events, Chairman’s Reserve sales and innovative promotional activity, bars and restaurants earned a vast amount of points, with the aim of gaining a spot in yesterday’s final, with the ultimate prize of a training visit for two to St Lucia as part of the prestige Chairman’s XI programme.

The final four to make the final were Mahiki of London, Alvino’s based in Newcastle, The Bureau of Birmingham, and lastly Trading House, also of London.

The respective bars were invited down to Magic Roundabout to re-create their Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai cocktail to the VIP crowd at the biggest Mai Tai party of the summer!

With this, we’re very proud to announce that the team at Alvino’s from Newcastle impressed the crowd the most, and have earned their place on the plane to St Lucia later in the year!

AlvinosEnjoy the Alvino’s Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai:

25ml Chairman’s Reserve White Label rum
25ml Chairman’s Reserve Finest rum
15ml King’s Ginger liqueur
25ml lime juice
10ml pineapple juice
10ml orgeat syrup

Add all ingredients to shaker, shake with cubed ice, strain into chilled Collins over crushed ice. Mint sprig & Fernet Branca float garnish.

Follow Chairman’s Reserve on Twitter @ChairmansUK, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ChairmansReserveUK and Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/ChairmansReserveUK

Final Four Named In The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Campaign

MaiTai

Spirits innovator Emporia Brands and award-winning Chairman’s Reserve rum of St Lucia Distillers, are proud to announce the final four venues who will be participating in the final of the current Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai campaign.

The final, to be held at The Magic Roundabout, one of the cities iconic pop-up sites in London, will feature four venues from across the UK who have been tasked during June and July to promote their twist on the classic Mai Tai cocktail using two expressions of Chairman’s Reserve. Utilising social media, events, Chairman’s Reserve sales and innovative promotional activity, bars and restaurants have been earning a vast amount of points, with the aim of gaining a spot in the final, which can ultimately win a training visit for two to St Lucia as part of the prestige Chairman’s XI programme.

The final four to make the final are Mahiki of London, Alvino’s based in Newcastle, The Bureau of Birmingham, and lastly Trading House, also of London.

The respective bars will now be invited down to Magic Roundabout on Tuesday 9th August to re-create their Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai cocktail to a VIP crowd at the biggest Mai Tai party of the summer!

With a secret panel of judges on hand to test out each cocktail, the winning bar will find out on the evening whether they have earnt their place on the plane to St Lucia later in the year.

Enjoy a Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai:

40ml Chairman’s Reserve rum
15ml Triple Sec
25ml Lime Juice
10ml Orgeat
10ml Gomme
Float 10ml Chairman’s Reserve Spiced rum

Shake all ingredients (except the Chairman’s Reserve Spiced) over ice and strain into an ice filled rocks glass. Float the Chairman’s Reserve Spiced on top of the serve and garnish with a mint sprig, grapefruit and lemon slice.

Chairman’s Reserve is widely available, including all online retailers, wine merchants and currently set at £20 at larger Sainsburys stores.

For more information on Chairman’s Reserve and Emporia Brands, please visit http://www.emporiabrands.com

Follow Chairman’s Reserve on Twitter @ChairmansUK, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ChairmansReserveUK and Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/ChairmansReserveUK

St Lucia Distillers Set to Travel Around the North of England

Distillers-Final-LogoThis April, UK distributor Emporia Brands have put together a calendar of events involving its award-winning St Lucia Distillers range.

Brand Ambassador Dave Marsland will be touring four Northern cities as he brings together the Chairman’s Reserve range, which includes Gold, Spiced, White Label and Forgotten Cask, the Admiral Rodney, and the latest edition of 1931, the 4th release.

In 1931, the Barnard family founded a distillery at Dennery. Now based on the other side of the island at Roseau, the distillery has been considerably modernized and new technologies and improvements constantly incorporated. The installation of pot stills in 1998 added considerably to the variety of rums being produced in this highly regarded distillery which received the accolade of Individual Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge, one of six trophies received in six years – a unique achievement.

With the premise of a flavour experience, the tour sees an approach to the range that offers bartenders and key industry figures invited to not only learn about St Lucia, but ideas on how to embrace the versatility of St Lucia Distillers, from the Spiced variety to the rare 1931.

With Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle on the agenda, Emporia Brands are looking to strengthen their campaign as they look ahead to the next instalment of the ‘Chairman’s XI’ with their ever-expanding sales team seeking out some of the UK’s best and brightest to follow in the footsteps of some of the industries key figures, including Lyndon Higginson of The Liars Club in Manchester, Danny Murphy of Aloha in Liverpool and Adam Binnersley of the MOJO Group.

Places are limited to 30 maximum for each session, due to the rarity of gaining the exclusive 1931 4th Edition for the tasting’s. To secure your place, please contact Dave Marsland at dave@emporiabrands.com, stating the session you wish to attend from the list below.

 

Wednesday 6th April: Manchester – Almost Famous Great Northern

Wednesday 13th April: Liverpool – 81LTD

Wednesday 20th April: Leeds – Almost Famous

Wednesday 27th April: Newcastle – Tiger Hornsby

(All sessions run from 2-4pm)

 

A welcome drink will be offered, as well as a half-time serve of a Chairman’s White Label Daiquiri, and a finish of the 1931 4th edition.