In the Mix

Indigo Master Remixology Contest

December 21st, 2010

Photo by Jamm Aquino /

The scene inside Indigo on Monday. Click here for more photos.


Eight of Honolulu's top bartenders showed up at Indigo yesterday for a shot at fame — and an Apple iPad.

Along with the coveted tablet computer, the top four drinks in Monday's Indigo Ultralounge Master Remixology Competition will be added to the cocktail menu, according to bar manager Jason "J-Rod" Rod. In order to preserve the integrity of the contest and keep himself eligible for the iPad, local liquor guru Joey Gottesman stepped in to host the event with help from one of his co-workers at Better Brands, marketing and promotions manager Christa Wittmier.

"I have the best, most cutting-edge people out there coming in to perform and help develop the best cocktails possible," J-Rod said before things got started on Monday. He worked with Gottesman to provide a variety of fresh, locally-sourced produce in addition to plenty of Grey Goose vodka and Bombay Sapphire gin as the two primary ingredients for participating bartenders' drinks.

In addition, bartenders were also required to use one of three featured liqueurs: Tuaca, Amaretto Disaronno and Cointreau. And just to make things interesting, each bartender was given Granny Smith apples and prickly pear juice to use as "secret ingredients" nobody really expected to see.

The juice from a prickly pear was one of the "secret" ingredients during Monday's cocktail competition.

Contestants were required to pay enough attention to the music playing while they made drinks. Some tracks, like Ludacris' "One More Drink," Jamie Foxx's "Blame It" and T-Pain's "Bartender," were more than a little predictable, but most made a strong effort to incorporate either the title or vibe of their songs into what they served.

Indigo Ultralounge bar manager Jason "J-Rod" Rod, left, and Lewers Lounge bartender Tim Rita search for ingredients to use during the competition.

In the end, Manifest bartender Justin Park won the iPad with his shot, called the Spring Break Cancun. Along with that drink, Bar 35's Eddie Trongkamsataya made it onto Indigo's updated cocktail menu with his own shot, called Party People; Nobu Waikiki's Dave Newman rounded out the top four drinks with his cocktails, The Last Drink and Basil-icious.

Better Brands vice president and sales manager Chad Stephens, left, congratulates Manifest bartender Justin Park after he was announced the winner.

The participating bartenders and event organizers pose for a group picture after the competition.

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