Curren Mizumoto of The Lanai was declared Kaua‘i’s Best Bartender 2017 presented by Kōloa 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 Kōloa 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 Kōloa Rum.

Beginning Aug. 11, 2017, two competitors went head-to-head each week at RumFire to showcase their original, handcrafted Kōloa 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 Kōloa 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 Kōloa 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.


2 oz. Kōloa White Rum
1 oz. dry curaçao
2 oz. fresh basil and mint juice
2 oz. fresh juiced watermelon
1 oz. lavender-infused syrup
1 oz. fresh lime juice
Pinch of jalapeño
Hawaiian salt

Add basil and mint juice, dry curaçao, lavender-infused syrup and pinch of jalapeño in a pint glass and stir with a bar spoon. In another pint glass, add Kōloa White Rum, fresh watermelon juice and fresh lime juice. On a Hawaiian-salt-rimmed glass, pour green mixture over ice, then follow with pink mixture for a green and pink layered cocktail.

RumFire Poipu Beach, located oceanfront at Sheraton Kauai Resort, is the south shore’s hotspot for oceanfront dining with stunning sunset views. Featuring panoramic views from each seat, the restaurant’s menu highlights locally sourced ingredients prepared with global influences. RumFire is home to the Table 53 charity program, which supports local nonprofit organizations each month and has raised nearly $200,000 for Kaua‘i’s charitable causes to date.

For more information about RumFire Poipu Beach, visit or call 808 742 4786 (4RUM). For more information about Koloa Rum Company, visit