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Mai Tai Challenge confirms national finalists

Fine rum specialist Spiribam UK and Chairman’s Reserve have announced the finalists of the UK-wide Mai Tai Challenge.

François Badel and Aldrick John Baptiste won the 2019 Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Challenge

The four finalist venues comprise: 33 Cank Street in Leicester; Bamboo Door in Sheffield; Kiki Lounge in Douglas; and Milk Bar in Reading.

The competitors will come together for the final at London’s Merchant House of Bow Lane on National Mai Tai day, 30 August.

The cocktail challenge was founded in 2016 and returned this year from 1 June to 31 July in search of the UK’s best Mai Tai cocktail.

Venues were challenged to create a Mai Tai cocktail using an expression of Chairman’s Reserve rum, as well as agricole rum, Rhum Clément of Martinique.

The final will see each bar showcase its Mai Tai to a panel of judges consisting of drinks journalists Oli Dodd, Vicky Ilankovan, Tyler Zielinski and Millie Milliken. Members of the public will also get to sample the drinks.

Throughout the evening votes will be cast by both the judges and the public to decide the winner. The prize is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ trip to Saint Lucia, home of Chairman’s Reserve.

Previous winners of the challenge include London’s Café Pacifico, Alvino’s in Newcastle and two-time winner Milk Bar in Reading.

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