Chairman’s Reserve Rum, concluded the Chairman’s Mai Tai Challenge on March 9th, 2019 and is proud to announce you the winning team: Francois Badel of Le Montfort in Rennes, France and Aldrick John Baptiste of The Coco Palm Resort in Rodney Bay Village, Saint Lucia. With their instinctive and delicious cocktail, The Freaky Tiki Elixir, Francois and Aldrick wowed the judges with a thoughtful, well-balanced cocktail and an inspirational energetic performance. To earn the passage to Saint Lucia, for a chance to take top donors at this global Mai Tai Challenge hosted at Coconutz Bar in Rodney Bay, top bartenders from around the world competed in regional competitions. These competitions were organised in France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States, and in partnership with Saint Lucia Tourism Authority. “We had an idea to encourage bartenders to play with Chairman’s Reserve in the Mai Tai cocktail because of how well we believe our rum fits the profile of this traditional tiki cocktail” Sergio John Baptiste, Marketing Director of St.Lucia Distillers. During the competition, each international bartenders was paired with a local Saint Lucian bartender to collaborate and display their tropical cocktail skills in the effort to claim the 2019 Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Champion title. Teams worked to creatively use local ingredients sourced at the Castries spice market to formulate a tropical cocktail presentation which would best exhibit the character of Chairman’s Reserve Rum in a Mai Tai-styled drink as well as demonstrate the culture of Saint Lucia. The exchange of ideas and talent was masterful and resulted in fascinating performances. In fact, the group was stimulated by the pulse of the island. Chairman’s Reserve was the backbone of their cocktail and Saint Lucia was their inspiration.

Judging the cocktails were: Margaret Monplaisir, Managing Director of St. Lucia Distillers (SLD), Deny Duplessis, Quality Manager of SLD, Robin Whynne of Miss Thing’s Hawaiin Cocktail Lounge in Toronto, Canada. Sly Augustine, owner of London’s Trailer Happiness, and world-renowned tiki expert, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry from New Orleans, Louisiana. Judges and guests were treated to a variety of exceptional recipes. Cocktails were evaluated on (1) Presentation and Performance, (2) Originality, (3) Taste and Balance, (4) Application of what was learnt from their experienced at SLD, a seminar hosted by Jeff Berry on the birth of Mai Tai, and the use of the local ingredients that were chosen at the Castries spice market. “The coolest thing about pairing a local finalist with an international finalist was watching strangers become friends and share their local and off-island cocktail knowledge to create a new kind of drink, it proved to be a delicious cultural mashup”, commented Jeff “Beachbum” Berry. “I was taken back by the passion these skilful bartenders had for Chairman’s Reserve”, said Margaret Monpaisir. “Their attention to every detail, their enthusiasm, and knowledge of Chairman’s Reserve was remarkable.” The group of bartenders spent a full day visiting St. Lucia Distillers learning, in depth the DNA of Chairman’s Reserve. The other days leading up to the competition were spent as the group discovered various parts of the island, absorbing Saint Lucia’s rich culture.