SoBeWFF 2015: Broken Shaker Wins People's Choice at Art of Tiki

The art of the tiki: It's all about the flair.
The art of the tiki: It's all about the flair.
Photo by Laine Doss

A blustery evening couldn't stop the Shore Club pool from resembling an exotic port of call at last evening's Art of Tiki.

This first-time event celebrated the art of the tropical cocktail, with master bartenders from some of the country's best tiki bars creating inspired drinks.

Guests were issued a sand dollar, to be thrown into the treasure chest of their favorite drink. Cocktails were also judged by a crack team of experts including Emeril Lagasse and Jeff "Beachbum" Berry.

See also: Spirited Events at SoBe Fest: Tiki Masters and a Bloody Good Time

Tiki cocktail from Mai-Kai.
Tiki cocktail from Mai-Kai.
Photo by Anita Roman

Francesco Lafranconi, executive director of mixology and spirits educator for Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada, was tasked with curating the talent for this tiki showcase, said that while there are no "specific parameters" for making the perfect tiki drink, the cocktail should showcase the "holy trinity -- the rum, the exotic nature with fresh fruit like guava, pineapple, banana, and your spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, or allspice."

Emeril Lagasse brought his Tchoup Chop bartender to SoBeWFF.
Emeril Lagasse brought his Tchoup Chop bartender to SoBeWFF.
Photo by Laine Doss

After using that base as a start, the creativity kicks in. Emeril Lagasse's Tchoup Chop Bar presented a piña colada mojito, made with coconut and pineapple rums, coconut milk, and mint.

The Rum Line's Rob Ferrara.
The Rum Line's Rob Ferrara.
Photo by Laine Doss

The Rum Line's Rob Ferrara's Port of Miami blended three rums, passion fruit, almond milk, lime, and cinnamon-chili syrup into a drink with a cool bite at the finish. Ferrara said that tiki cocktails are all about, "the art of blending various rums and ingredients to make a drink that's not too boozy, not too sweet. A well-balanced all-around refreshing cocktail."

Spike and partner bring back the drink umbrella.
Spike and partner bring back the drink umbrella.
Photo by Laine Doss

Spike Mendelsohn, who used drink umbrellas in his Haole punch, said, "it's all about the flair. You want to use fresh juices and make something not too strong because you're out in the sun having fun. It's got to be refreshing."

Tiki Mondays won best cocktail.
Tiki Mondays won best cocktail.
Photo by Laine Doss

When the votes were tallied, the judges picked Brian Miller's twist on a classic pain reliever, made with coffee infused Zacapa rum. Miller runs Tiki Mondays with Miller in New York City.

Broken Shaker is the people's choice.
Broken Shaker is the people's choice.
Photo by Laine Doss

The people's choice went to Miami Beach favorites Broken Shaker for the bar's Paradise Found (which also came in third with the judges). The cocktail combined rum with fresh watermelon, mint, and a touch of bitters for depth to make a completely refreshing and ultimately drinkable cocktail. Shaker bartenders Randy Perez and Gui Jaroschy agreed that the perfect tiki potable is all about making, "something fresh, using different ingredients that make you rethink things." In the end, a tiki cocktail is more than a beverage in a glass. As Perez said, "It's the whole tiki culture."

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.


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Shore Club Hotel

1901 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-695-3100

www.shoreclub.com/en-us


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