The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2013

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Page 102 of 148

EVENT WRAP-UP Hello, Hawaii! HAWAII COCKTAIL WEEK MAKES A SPLASH by Blaine Ashley T 102 / the tasting panel / may 2013  With a slew of seminars, tastings and even the Bon Vivant boys' tradition of hosting a pig roast (err . . . luau), there was plenty to choose from. Some favorites were a No. 209 Gin tasting at Pint + Jigger and a seminar led by Bar Magic's Tobin Ellis on "Designing Bars That Make Money," with panelists including Julian Cox of L.A.'s award-winning Rivera, Picca and Bestia and Kate Gerwin of Albuquerque's Imbibe Cigar Bar. PHOTO: TRACY CHAN he Aloha State is finally and deservedly on the spirited map, not just for its plentiful Mai Tais but also creative, libation-filled events, local ingredient–infused cocktails and a talented resident bartending set. Now, with the first-ever Hawaii Cocktail Week under its belt, Hawaii is hotter than ever. Mike Prasad, co-owner of Hawaii Bitters Company, is the brainchild behind the new and promising Hawaii Cocktail Week (of which THE TASTING PANEL is a sponsor), bringing together Hawaii's best bartenders and more than a few notable mainlanders in a series of events in February that offered a touchstone between local lavors at their best combined with quality spirits, top industry professionals, all in between sun and beach time fun. "Hawaii Cocktail Week was founded to provide a stage for all the talent and lavors evolving in the cocktail scene in Hawaii," explains Prasad. "Additionally, I wanted to create a venue where talents from abroad could come to interact and exchange ideas. The ultimate goal is to become a regional hub for the craft of the cocktail for both industry and enthusiasts."   In true Hawaii fashion (take it from a local), Hawaii Cocktail Week was a refreshing, leisurely change of pace for industry-driven events, with the gents hitting festivities in board shorts and ladies in beach-friendly cover-ups, all the while sipping craft concoctions with palm trees swaying and ocean waves crashing at the wake of it all. Team Aloha: Honolulu bartender Tim Rita (Monkey Pod); tiki educators Julie Reiner and Brian Miller; Hawaii Cocktail Week founder Mike Prasad.  Other highlights included a liquid-illed tiki seminar crafted by Julie Reiner and Brian Miller, cocktail pairing dinners at Pint + Jigger and Town, Oahu's most infamous "foodie friendly" restaurant, and a Cruzan Rum cruise. And no cocktail week would be complete without one of Tobin Ellis' also infamous Social Mixology parties, which took place on the inal night, sponsored by Milagro Tequila at The Modern Hotel's Sunset Beach pool.  Mark Hawaii Cocktail Week on your must-hit calendar for next year. There will be events not to be missed, including festivities sponsored by THE TASTING PANEL! After all: Imbibing with the industry's best in paradise? What more could anyone ask for?

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