Kauai's Best Bartender

Congratulations to Curren Mizumoto,
our 2017 Kauai's Best Bartender!

Curren Mizumoto of The Lanai was declared Kaua‘i’s Best Bartender 2017 presented by Koloa Rum at RumFire Poipu Beach. In the contest’s third year, 16 finalists from the island’s food and beverage industry were challenged to showcase original Koloa Rum-based cocktails over a 15-week competition for the chance to earn the title and the $4,000 grand prize. Nilo Badua of Lava Lava Beach Club was named runner-up and received a $1,000 second prize, both courtesy of Koloa Rum.

Beginning Aug. 11, 2017, two competitors went head-to-head each week at RumFire to showcase their original, handcrafted Koloa Rum cocktails utilizing a different mystery ingredient or theme every round. Mystery ingredients ranged from botanicals to basil, while mystery themes included Hawai‘i statehood, hot-n-spicy and Halloween. In his journey to the final round, Mizumoto won the battles for statehood, bubbles and classic cocktails, creating drinks that were judged on a variety of criteria, such as taste, balance, creativity, presentation and use of the mystery ingredient.

The final round, held Friday, Nov. 17, was themed “bartender’s choice,” allowing the finalists to create their best Koloa Rum cocktail for more than 250 guests at RumFire. Each guest was invited to cast his or her vote to determine the winner, along with an expert panel of judges.

The winning cocktail, “E Ku‘u Inu,” was a green and pink layered drink created with Koloa White Rum, dry curacao, fresh basil and mint juice, fresh watermelon juice, lavender-infused syrup, fresh lime juice and a pinch of jalapeño. “E Ku‘u Inu” translates to “My Love Drink” in the Hawaiian language and represents Mizumoto’s love for his craft. A version of the winning cocktail will be featured on RumFire’s menu over the next year. 


2016 - Jennifer Bryant, "Malie" cocktail
Koloa Coconut Rum, kaffir lime leaves, fresh Hawaiian guava juice and essence of lemon

2015 - Nilo Badua, "Plantation Mai Tai"
A twist on the classic mai tai enhanced with fresh lime juice, homemade lavender falernum, sugarcane juice, lemongrass simple syrup and seasonal ingredients

A version of the winning cocktails are currently featured on RumFire’s menu.