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Strong Water Anaheim Named 2024 James Beard Award Nominee for Outstanding Wine & Other Beverages Program

Strong Water Anaheim has officially been named a 2024 James Beard Award nominee for “Outstanding Wine & Other Beverages Program”!

As the only nominated concept in Orange County on the esteemed list, owners Ying Chang and Robert Adamson are honored to represent the local community on such a global stage!

Strong Water, founded by Ying Chang and Robert Adamson, is a nautical-themed restaurant and bar in Anaheim, CA. Upon entering, guests are transported onto a sunken ship for an immersive tiki experience with rum-based drinks and elevated Asian Fusion bites. The hidden “tik-easy” is adorned with eclectic decor, including nods to tiki culture like the “Zombie King Grotto” and references to Don the Beachcomber.

Ying and Robert’s journey began in the corporate world, but they soon realized they shared a passion for hospitality industry. Ying specialized in training and management, guiding teams to success and ensuring top-notch service delivery. Meanwhile, Robert honed his skills behind the bar and on the floor, mastering the art of mixology and providing exceptional guest experiences. The inspiration for the ambiance of Strong Water comes from the couple’s favorite book, Robinson Crusoe.

“We’ve crafted an atmosphere that makes the most out of a challenging situation. The furniture tells a story too – upcycled old headboard frames serve as unique pieces, paired with antique library tables that add a touch of history. Seating is all about comfort with dining room chairs that create a cozy vibe. We want everyone to feel at ease, as if you’ve stumbled upon a hidden oasis.”

The drink program at Strong Water is described by Ying as “a vibrant fusion of tropical inspiration and homage to classic tiki style cocktails.” They view themselves as pioneers in refining tiki cocktails to suit the modern palate, and as ingredients evolve, so does their take on them in their drinks. They update their cocktail and food menu twice a year to keep things fresh, and they even have a menu dedicated to rum enthusiasts.

With over 40 cocktails on the menu, including their renowned favorites like the Starward Swizzle, Zombie King, Miehana, Pineapple Whipped Colada, and the Ritual of the Queen there’s something to tantalize every taste bud. Ying elaborated on the enduring allure of the tiki craze, noting its origins in the mid-20th century as a means of offering an exotic escape without the need for travel. This trend provided a refreshing break from everyday life through its tropical ambiance, exotic cuisine, and vibrant drinks.

Although the tiki trend waned in the 80s, its recent revival mirrors the renewed interest in craft cocktails and cocktail history. Its timeless appeal lies in providing patrons with a brief escape from reality, making it a welcome respite in today’s world. Ying advises bartenders delving into tiki cocktails to embrace diversity, honor tradition, prioritize fresh ingredients, innovate with garnishes, and venture beyond rum. As for essential tiki-style drinks for any bar menu, the Mai Tai stands out as a prime choice.

The newest and latest venture from Ying and Robert is Double Luck, a neighborhood cocktail bar nestled just a block away from Strong Water that will feature an Amari bar, that will serve as a haven for novices and experts alike.

So, whether you’re seeking an escape from LA, a reprieve after Disneyland, or simply love craft cocktails, the 2024 James Beard Semifinalist establishment offers an unparalleled experience.

The post Strong Water Anaheim Named 2024 James Beard Award Nominee for Outstanding Wine & Other Beverages Program appeared first on Chilled Magazine.

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