Saipan World Resort’s Marlon Pineda won the Bacardi Superior Bartenders Mojito Cocktail Challenge last Saturday at the 2014 Taste of Marianas Food Festival and Beer Garden at the American Memorial Park.
Organized by the Northern Marianas Bartenders Association, Pineda and eight participants went head to head against each other in six challenges, including one special challenge where participants had to concoct a cocktail with an Aloha drink.Pineda’s winning mix included Bacardi Superior rum as the base drink, mixed with lime juice, simple syrup, sliced lemon, and soda water.
Pineda also walked away with the “Best in Showmanship” award.
A bartender for Saipan World Resort, Pineda said it was his second time to win the bartenders competition at the Taste of the Marianas. Pineda also secured the championship in 2011 and placed third in 2009 and 2010.
Pineda received prizes such as a cellphone from IT&E, a gift from Duty Free Shoppers Saipan, a gift from Marpac, Coca-Cola products, and $150 cash.
Pineda said he is willing to train new bartenders so they can join next year.
“Our plan is to train new staff at World Resort for next year,” Pineda said. “I feel happy and I’m proud of our operator for giving me the blessing again and my Saipan World Resort family for giving all their effort in cheering for me.”
Other winners were Jay Santos of Jhonny’s Bar, who won second place and “Best in Props”; Alvin Palma who won third place and “Best in Taste”; Eresea Kintoki of Hyatt Regency Saipan, who won in the Best Aloha Cocktail; and Joseph Solmarin, who was runner-up.
Other participants were Samylyn Atalig of Hyatt, Maria Rio of Pacific Islands Club, Lorenzo Divino of Coffe & Jazz, Mike Benavente of Grotto Bar & Restaurant, and Derol Tudela of Pacific Islands Club.
The panel of judges were Aqua Resort Club F&B manager Romeo Manzon, The Coffee Room N-106 owner Igor Karapetyan, Mariana Resort & Spa executive chef William Retardo, and assistant public defender Mike Sato.
Flor Miranda and Olive Yana of United Filipino Organization tabulated the participants’ scores.
Sponsors for the event included the Marianas Visitors Authority, Marpac, Bacardi Superior, DFS Saipan, IT&E, Coca-Cola, The Coffee Room N-106, Armatech, and UFO.
NMBA chair Lito Espino would like to give special thanks to the sponsors, judges, competitors, MVA, and visitors alike for making the event a success.