• Monday, September 24, 2018
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Bar Leather Apron’s Justin Park wins World’s Best Mai Tai title for third time


    Bar Leather Apron’s Justin Park, right, competes during the 10th annual Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai Festival at the Royal Kona Resort on Saturday. Park won $10,000 for his winning recipe, his third overall win since 2012.


Three wins is enough for Bar Leather Apron’s Justin Park.

“Yeah, that’s the last one,” he confirmed a few hours after winning his third World’s Best Mai Tai title at the 10th annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival at the Royal Kona Resort on Saturday night.

Park, who also took home the competition’s $10,000 first place prize in 2012 and 2015, was one of four previous winners invited to return and compete again in 2018. He used Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Year and root-washed Kohana Kea Hawaiian agricole rum as the base to create his Ka Mai Tai O Keawe (“The Big Island’s Mai Tai) along with fresh lime juice, macadamia nut orgeat syrup, coconut vanilla syrup, Lehua Ohia blossom honey and kiawe sea salt foam.

Last year’s winning bartender, Kevin Beary of Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago, took second place with his version of Chief Lapu Lapu’s Revenge, while fellow Three Dots mixologist Cory Starr made his Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai Festival debut and won third place with his drink, Peace, Love & Mai Tais.

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