6th Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival Crowns a New Mai Tai Champ

Photos by Kevin Olson The annual search for the world’s greatest Mai Tai has concluded, with the sixth annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival crowning Michael Soo from Bar Crudo in Arizona. Soo, who competed with 20 other bartenders from the U.S. at the Royal Kona Resort this weekend, won $10,000. “I felt confident in my […]

Royal Lahaina’s Mai Tai Mix Off picks three winners from the bartender rumble to go to Kona Fourth Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Mix-Off

Mai Tai Mix Off

    Small pot distilled liquors, fresh fruit forward juices and dark boozy floats are a mixologist’s wet dream. Add 10 grand to that and you have a throwdown of the modern Mai Tai, all of it fueled by Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum at the Royal Lahaina Resort. Eleven Maui bartenders rumbled last Wednesday for a chance at […]

Third Annual Kona Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival at Royal Kona Resort Hawaii with Beachbum Berry, Sam Choy and Mick Fleetwood

Mai Tai Judges Mick Fleetwood and Sam Choy By Ryan Matsumoto

If rum’s history is a sordid tale of sugar and slaves, then the Mai Tai is its steamy love child, complete with a questionable blood line. Every spirit has one. In August, Mai Tai-philes gather at the Royal Kona Resort for the annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival honoring the drink’s colorful contribution to cocktail lore by celebrating the many creative incarnations it will become during the accompanying competition.

Following Maui’s flow of Mai Tais to Kona’s Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival


Mai Tai Me Up Ahhhh, Kona, Hawaii. You think sleepy little Kailua town on the big island. Think again. Once a year the town wakes up in a wash of Bacardi rum when the Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival kicks off its weekend competition. With top mixologist talent showing up from all across the […]

3 Maui Bartenders are on their way to Bacardi Mai Tai Fest at the Royal Kona Resort


You can’t be a bartender in Hawaii with out knowing the Mai Tai. While some may despise the drink, others are willing to turn it into a creative outlet which I bore witness to at last week’s Mai Tai Mix Off preliminary competition at the Royal Lahaina. Ten bartenders went head to head in five seven minute rounds with their own personal recipes. The top three competitors will get a place at the Second Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival held on August 14 at the Royal Kona Resort.