Wednesday, April 17, 2024 Apr 17, 2024
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Restaurants & Bars

What to Drink Now: Tropical Cocktails

Lychee Mojito at Hualalai

I just spent two weeks on The Big Island of Hawaii.  While there I tried a few island cocktails that kept us cool most afternoons.  Keep one in mind if an afternoon in the pool is calling, or a happy hour in the sweltering heat….I promise, you will feel refreshed after one sip.

Lychee Mojito from Hualalai Four Seasonson The Big Island.  Perhaps one of the most beautiful places in the world, and a place that knows how to open an incredible bottle of wine from their well appointed list and mix up stellar signature cocktails.  This sweet and savory mojito combined rich lychee fruit, Kai lychee vodka, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, soda water and refreshing herbal notes from fresh mint.  I asked the bartender to go light on the simple syrup keeping the drink relatively non-sweet, but incredibly refreshing and flavorful.

Hualalai’s Bali-Hi combined Tanqueray Rangpur, Coconut Puree, fresh lime juice and lemongrass syrup for a sweet island cocktail that was as much a nod to  the Caribbean as to Hawaii. 

Mauna Lani Tiny Bubbles

The Hawaiian brand ambassador for Grey Goose was in attendance for a chef filled raiser grazer for The United Way at the Mauna Lani Resort.  He created a special cocktail for the night, Mauna Lani Tiny Bubbles, of Grey Goose Vodka, pineapple juice, muddled fresh mint, a squeeze of fresh lime, topped with a dash of Piper- Sonoma Brut sparkling wine.  Served over ice this paired spot on with Ono ceviche and fresh Ahi fish tacos. 

Peter Merriman is as much of an island staple as Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong.  He was one of the first restaurateurs to go directly to the farms to source his ingredients and his dedication to using local, seasonal ingredients highlights the menus of his many restaurants, including Merriman’s in Waimea.  Their Organic Fresh Herb Mobeeto blends fresh mint, basil, and lavender from the Merriman’s garden with vodka, light rum,and a dash of Honopua Farms beet juice for color. 

The Mai Tai – from a classic to an updated, it is the staple of Hawaii.  My favorite came from Sansei at the Waikiki Beach Marriot  – the Mai Thai combining 8 year aged rum with Orange curacao, lime juice, homemade lemongrass syrup, and fresh and candied ginger foam.  Light, yet incredibly luscious.  A lovely rendition on a Hawaiian classic.

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