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.”

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

Group

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.

St Lucia Distillers Set to Travel Around the UK

Distillers-Final-LogoThis March and April, UK distributor Emporia Brands have put together a calendar of events involving its award-winning St Lucia Distillers range, after the initial success of last year’s programme.

Brand Ambassador Dave Marsland and the Emporia Brands team will be touring fifteen cities as they bring together the Chairman’s Reserve range, which includes Gold, Spiced, White Label and Forgotten Cask, the Admiral Rodney, and an edition of premium expression 1931, plus a selection of the distillates from which they are blended.

In 1931, the Barnard family founded a distillery at Dennery, St Lucia. 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.

Cities on the tour include Manchester, London, Leeds, Brighton, Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester, Newcastle, Cardiff, Reading, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Glasgow, with Emporia Brands 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 for each session, due to the rarity of gaining the exclusive 1931 and distillates 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.

Manchester       Mojo’s, 9th March, 1:30pm

London                 Burlock, 15th March, 2pm

Leeds                    Mojo’s, 15th March, 1:30pm

Brighton              Oki Nami, 21st March, 1pm

Liverpool             Maya, 23rd March, 1:30pm

Birmingham       Island Bar, 4th April, 2pm

Nottingham       Brass Monkey, 5th April, 3pm

Leicester             The Queen of Bradgate, 6th April, 2pm

Newcastle          Alvino’s, 11th April, 1pm

Edinburgh           Reekie Tiki, 16th April, 4pm

Cardiff                  The Dead Canary, 21st April, 2pm

Aberdeen           Bos’n, 23rd April, 3pm

Dundee                 Draffens, 24th April, 4pm

Reading                               Milk, 26th April, 2pm

Glasgow              Distill, 26th April, 4pm

 

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

Follow Emporia Brands on Twitter @EmporiaBrandsUK, Facebook at www.facebook.com/EmporiaBrands and Instagram at www.instagram.com/emporiabrands

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

Appleton Estate

Appleton Joy

Appleton Estate is one of the world’s most well-known rum brands, hailing from Jamaica and offering up expressions used by all, from cocktails to served over ice. I finally get myself out to Jamaica soon to check out their home, but it’s got me taking a sneak peak before i jet over!

The first known documentation of rum production at the Appleton Estate dates back to 1749, however the origins of the Estate date back as far as 1655 when the British captured Jamaica from the Spanish. Frances Dickinson took part in that British conquest and it‘s believed that the Appleton Estate in the Nassau Valley, St. Elizabeth was part of the land grant that Dickinson received as a reward for his services. His grandsons were the earliest known owners of the Appleton Estate. In 1845 the Appleton Estate changed hands from the Dickinson family when it was acquired by William Hill and later changed hands again when it was purchased by one of Jamaica`s most successful merchants, A. McDowell Nathan. He unfortunately died in an earthquake in 1907 and his vast estate, including Appleton, was eventually acquired by J. Wray and Nephew Ltd. who still own it to this day.

Appleton Estate also comes with a rather unique approach to their production.

The Estate grow their own sugar cane and ferment using soft water from a spring that originates through the limestone hills within the estate. A natural culture of yeast in the fermenting process is also used that has been handed down through generations. Small batch copper pot distillation is the preferred method, blending the rum between both copper pot and column stills. Maturation takes place within 40-gallon Number One Select American Oak barrels and when selected by the Master Blender, Joy Spence, incidentally the first woman to be appointed Master Blender in the world, they are then blended to create the Appleton Estate range. After blending, the rums are set to rest, which allows the marrying of the various components and brings the blend together.

So how does the range fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Appleton Estate V/X – 40%

*NOW DISCONTINUED* A blend of rum of at least 5yrs. Light on the nose with an oak aroma coming through near the end. A slight pepper is also present. Dry spice is immediately apparent on the palate, with a vanilla flavour mixed with the oak creating a long, dry, lingering finish.

Appleton Estate Special Gold – 40%

A blend of rums distilled in pot and column stills. These are matured separately before being hand-blended, then aged in refill Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey barrels.
Plenty of caramel on the nose, although becoming lighter with hints of sweetness following. Very light on the palate, rather thin, with a slight sweetness, blended with butter flavours.

Appleton Estate Reserve Blend – 43%

Launched in 2000 to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the Appleton Estate and uses minimum 8yr old Appletons. Lots of orange on the nose, with hints of hazelnut and soft fudge. Smooth on the palate, developing warmth. Honey, toasted fudge and hits of citrus on the lingering finish.

Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12yr – 43%

A blend of rums between 12 and 18yrs. High notes of vanilla and banana on the nose, which follows onto the palate with a punch, although it mellows with a creamy texture. Creates a long, rich ending.

Appleton Estate 21yr – 43%

Following maturation, this was blended and married in casks for two years and uses minimum of 21yr aged rums. Bouquet of floral aromas and nuts. Cocoa and vanilla swirling around slowly. Plenty of nuts, thick, stewed fruits and hints of rich molasses. Long, fresh with hints of dryness.

Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend 25yr – 45%

This special blend commemorates Joy Spence’s 20th anniversary as master blender. A combination of rums aged for between 25 and 35 years.
Fresh demerara sugar upon the nose, with hints of fresh ripe banana, clove and oak coming through. Ripe notes of red apple, dried cinnamon sticks and coffee, moving to a bold kick of cocoa and toffee. A long, fresh finish, becoming quite moorish.

 

A cracking range of rum from Jamaica, with versatility to offer cocktails such as;

Applton - Joys Cocktail

Joy’s Cocktail; crafted by the Master herself.

Glass –

Rocks

Ingredients – 

25 ml Appleton Estate Reserve Blend
75 ml Ginger ale
Slice of orange
5 drops Angostura bitters
Orange peel (garnish)

Method – 

Squeeze the orange slice into a rocks glass and then drop it in the glass and muddle it. Add ice and build in remaining ingredients and stir.

Worth seeking out a couple of the Appleton Estate range for your cocktail evenings, and at least one to sip when the occasion calls for! I’ll be sure to update as and when i experience straight from Jamaica itself!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2018. 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.

Kraken Spiced Rum Tasting Notes

I’ve been looking forward to trying this again! I think i first sampled Kraken at The Boutique Bar Show 2011 in Manchester, but i had a taste at Imbibe 2011 a few weeks ago. I will always remember the way they sold it to me – a man dressed in a old-fashioned diving suit handing out leaflets, and a ‘sailor’ explaining the myth behind the Kraken Rum in a tale you expect to see in Pirates of the Caribbean!

However you look at it, it works and it’s stuck in my mind ever since. I have to admit, i wasn’t expecting to purchase a bottle so quickly, but on the shopping trip last week (where i also bought a bottle of Chase Vodka), the eye-catching bottle was begging to be bought. And at £21.99 its not a bad price, especially to the likes of Sailor Jerry and Morgans Spiced.

Kraken Spiced Rum

Upon tasting this spiced rum from the USA, the expectation of wild spices doesn’t hit you. Instead, it gently arrives with its vanilla and toffee trails and its lack of a fire edge like Sailor Jerry gives you makes this even more enjoyable. It gives your mouth a slight tingle sensation and gives a rather vivid after-taste that still lingers long after you finish. It’s almost as if this should be categorised under ‘dark’, but personally, it should be at the top of the spiced column.

This is better than Morgans Spiced and better than Sailor Jerry. To me, you must have Morgans with a mixer, it’s just too raw sometimes, and Sailor Jerry is still considered better with a companion in its glass. Kraken? Kraken you can sip on its own, you could have it as the top layer of a Mai Tai, possibly mixed with a Mojito or a Kraken Old Fashioned, which just sounds like heaven in a glass. You need to try this!