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New York Cocktail Expo




Will Automatically advance to the Best Cocktail of the Year Competition in 2nd Session (6pm-9pm) 


Please read very carefully these instructions. 


By participating at the event we will assume you have read these guidelines and will be prepared as necessary to compete. 


Competition Format: 2 Phases of Judging:

1st: Round: 2pm-3:45pm: Judges Will select finalists from Cocktail Sample tastings at your exhibitor table. 


So make sure the flavor of your drink is on point and do not focus only on TIKI Flare and your vessel although they are extremely important. 

2nd Round: 3:45pm-5pm: Selected Finalists will compete on stage with full cocktails for Judges Panel. 

*Please bring everything you need to prepare and serve your cocktail for the Judges, including bar tools, glassware, any special Ice, “vessel”, product, extra glassware and a bin tobring to the stage if chosen as a finalist at the event! 

Be sure to have an extra hand on deck to serve cocktail samples at your exhibitor table while you are preparing your drinks for the Judges so you can give them your focus. Both at your exhibitor station and if you advance to stage round. 


Judges Criteria:
• COCKTAIL NAME, with story of why you chose the name and what 
your inspiration was.

• The Cocktail needs to be your own creation or a take on a classic 
“TIKI” cocktail with your own twist.

• USE of SPIRIT: You will be Judged on use of your sponsored spirit.

• NO FLAMING GARNISH. (Not permitted inside venue)

• If you decide to make a frozen cocktail you should bring your own blenders. Please let us know of your needs for the competition, (outlet etc.)

• COCKTAIL DESCRIPTION (for your table) (postcard, frame) with name of drink at the table including ingredients, and possible 

allergies as some of the ingredients don’t label it i.e. “Falernum” or “Orgeat”.

• JUDGING GUIDELINES/NEEDS: (Point system and deliberation)

• HOSPITALITY: Judges will be observing your interactions with guests and getting a sense of your ability to affect the quality of 

your drink with your sense of hospitality, presentation and service. 


• PRESENTATION: We will be looking at the way your station is presented, DON’T FORGET this, it’s a TIKI THROW DOWN and everything counts. Get Creative with your station! Keep it cleanly! 

• CREATIVITY, (juices, nuts, exotic fruits, syrups, infusions, spirits), We will focus on your concept of why you chose those ingredients and the reason for your inspiration.

• FLAVOR: You can use as many flavors or ingredients as you like but it has to be able to go with all the layers of flavors and/or pairing of the ingredients.

• FLARE/GARNISH, Let’s not forget that Tiki is a fun and unique concept. Anyone can make a Rum Cocktail, or call a Drink with a 

Parasol umbrella and Maraschino Cherries, Tiki ,but if you’re a real Tiki fanatic you should know that it’s more than that. We will take really seriously the Flare of the cocktail, Garnish, glassware/vessel.

• SPEED. Although this is not a speed competition, on stage, your drink will need to be made in a timely fashion between 5-8 minutes. Please make sure to prep garnish as necessary before hand. (orange peel roses etc.)

• Finalists Competition: You will prepare your cocktail on Stage for the Judges alongside another competitor. You will be called on 

stage and be on standby to prepare your drink and must be present to be in the running at your call time. 

• You will need to make your drink from scratch for the Judges stage portion. NO BATCHING for the Judges on stage. 

• (Tiki Competition on stage is 3:45pm- 5pm (subject to change)

• If you have special Ice for your drink, you will need to bring it on stage with you in a cooler/appropriate vessel.

• We will have Kold Draft Cubes available on stage if needed from Icesurance

• You will bring your cocktail over to the Judges table after you are done. Please bring any tray or carrying vessel as this may be part of your presentation. 


Please display your TIKI Vessel at your exhibitor station during the second session. So attendees may see your TIKI vessel and creativity may be appreciated. 

2019 Judges Panel: 

Head Judge: Shannon Mustipher – Author “TIKI Modern Tropical Cocktails” 

Ben Shaffer: The Rum Reader Kayla Mata: Collectif 1806 


1st Place Best TIKI Cocktail

2nd Place Best TIKI Cocktail

3rd Place Best TIKI Cocktail

People’s Choice Award 

1st Place winner will automatically advance to 2nd session, Best Cocktail of the Year Competition. 



Please be sure you can prepare your full TIKI Cocktail for the second Judges Panel as well incase you advance to the second round. 

People’s Choice Award: We want to hear what guests of your bars have to say. It’s not just about industry. They are the ones visiting our bars and keeping them alive! 

Guests will put a red ticket in your ballot box on your station. Most red tickets in the ballot box will win festival favorite Tiki Drink! 

So give them your best hospitality and your very best drink and show the love to your cocktail sample presentation as well. We know you will! 

Award ceremony on stage will begin at end of 1st session. 

Thank you so kindly for competing at New York Cocktail Expo’s Tiki Throw Down. 

Please send any questions or clarifications needed to organizer . Mahalo! 

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