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Zombie Jamboree

The 2011 Rum Renaissance Festival started off with a bang after a wild night at tiki headquarters, Mai Kai, for the first-ever Zombie Jamboree.

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Rum Renaissance Kicks Off With Zombie Jam

Rum enthusiasts, mixologists and tiki-fans all gathered last night at Ft. Lauderdale’s legendary Mai Kai Polynesian Restaurant for the first-ever Zombie Jamboree.

The evening started with a drink seminar hosted by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry on the origins of the Zombie cocktail.  We were treated to a sample of several different variations of the original drink and they were all magnificent.  Our favorite was the ’56 Zombie.  Jeff is the Indiana Jones of the cocktail world and layed out of the history and  timeline of this classic tiki drink like a college professor.  Well done, Jeff.

The night continued with a Zombie cocktail competition.  Six mixology teams from around the world whipped up their best Zombies for a thirsty crowd of enthusiastic fans and judges.  The drinks were outstanding and it was interesting to see how each team put their individual spin on this iconic cocktail.  In the end, two teams tied for first place, friendly trash talk ensued and plans for a rematch are already in the works.

The evening continued with rounds of well made tiki drinks (my favorite was the Barrel O’ Rum) a giant Polynesian dinner and Mai Kai’s traditional dance show.  After hours of laughing, imbibing and catching up with old friends, it became clear that this year’s Rum Renaissance Festival is off to a great start and is going to be better than ever.  What will the rest of the week bring?……  Stay tuned……