Maui Food and Dining

Maui Restaurant Joins Top “Mocktail” Contest

May 8, 2019, 8:20 AM HST
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“Feel Free to Tiki” is the entry for Hawai‘i’s Best Mocktails from The Mill House in Waikapū. Courtesy photo.

Restaurants and bars on three islands are taking part in a friendly competition, aiming to offer the best “mocktail,” or non-alcoholic cocktail for designated drivers and non-drinkers.  For the second year, DTRIC Insurance, Ltd. and the Hawaii Restaurant Association (HRA) have partnered to put on the contest, which happens Tuesday, May 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at International Market Place. The community is invited to attend to sample the mocktail entries and vote for their favorite.

“Hawaii’s Best Mocktails brings awareness to the important role of designated drivers, who can still have fun and join in the activities with alcohol-free drinks that look and taste as fantastic as their cocktail counterparts,” says Michele Saito, President and CEO of DTRIC Insurance. “We all have a responsibility to prevent drunk driving accidents and it’s encouraging that the restaurant and bar industry has embraced this unique campaign with such excitement.”

The competition features two categories: Judge’s Choice, selected by a panel of media personalities, social influencers, and industry professionals; and People’s Choice, as voted on by event guests. Winners in each category will be announced at the end of the competition.

“Having alcohol should be a choice, not an expectation,” remarks Sheryl Matsuoka, Executive Director of the Hawaii Restaurant Association. “By offering mocktail options alongside classic cocktails, drinking and dining establishments are creating an inclusive atmosphere for all guests.”

The 2019 Hawaii’s Best Mocktails competition features bartenders and mixologists from across the islands, including The Mill House in Waikapū. The 14 finalists include:


· 53 By the Sea – Yuzu Making Me Blush


· Flour & Barley – Koolau Cooler

· Hula Grill Waikiki – Cucumber Passion Fruit Spritzer

· M.A.C. 24/7 – Island Poppin’ Lemonade


· Magic’s Beach Grill (Hawaii Island) – Pahoehoe Plunge

· Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (Hawaii Island) – Orange Dream Booch

· SKY Waikiki – Hatton Heist

· Smith & Kings – So Ono Fizz

· The Manifest – Ginger & Rose Fizz

· The Mill House (Maui) – Feel Free to Tiki

· The Nook Neighborhood Bistro – The Renegade Old Fashioned

· Tiki’s Grill & Bar – Shi-so Spicy

· Vintage Vinegars – Spice Grilled Pineapple Vinegar Elixir

· ShoreFyre – Gardener’s Fizz

The Mill House Mixologist Natalie Hansen crafted “Feel Free to Tiki” for Hawai‘i’s Best Mocktails competition. Courtesy photo.

Full recipes will be available online at following the Hawaii’s Best Mocktails competition on May 14. To attend the free event, register here. Tickets are limited.

Alcohol remains a major factor in traffic crashes. Based on data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was an alcohol-impaired traffic fatality every 50 minutes in 2016. According to NHTSA, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2016 and alcohol-impaired crash fatalities accounted for 28% of all crash fatalities.

Other sponsors and partners of Hawaii’s Best Mocktails include ‘Ohana Broadcasting, FROLIC Hawaii, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Hawaii Volcanic Water.

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