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No doubt about it: people are thirsting for Hawaiian drinks. My December 2011 coverage of island resorts and their signature cocktails ranks among our most-read Hawaii stories, generating so much interest that it seemed only fitting to follow it up with another round.
After some highly enjoyable research, I am happy to report that more and more hotels around the 50th state are mixing one-of-a-kind libations featuring ingredients that spring from the surrounding environment. Better yet, they’re willing to share their mouthwatering recipes with our readers.
Whether shaken or stirred, the following drinks exemplify tropical mixology at its best.
Fairmont Orchid Hawaii: Luana Cooler1 barspoon ginger puree¾ oz. simple syrup1 oz. lime juice1 oz. mango rum1 oz. coconut rumSoda to finishCandied gingerLime wedgeMango slice
Shake the liquid ingredients, pour over ice into a cocktail glass and garnish with the ginger, lime and mango.
Fairmont Orchid Hawaii’s signature cocktail was created by a member of the hotel’s culinary team as part of a contest that Fairmont ran when it re-opened the Luana Lounge in 2007. The Luana Cooler, with its blend of house-made ginger puree and two kinds of rum, was hands-down the winning recipe.
Fairmont Orchid Hawaii (Hawaii Island)www.fairmont.com/orchid-hawaii
Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay: Lokahi 100 Mile Cocktail1½ calamansi limes, halved 4 ginger pieces cut into matchsticks 2-by-1 inch Maui vanilla bean, split lengthwise with vanilla beans open 6 chunks of fresh pineapple 2 oz. Ocean vodka ½ oz. Lehua honey syrup 1 slice of dehydrated pineapple
In a shaker, muddle the calamansi lime halves with the ginger sticks, vanilla bean and pineapple until the pineapple is almost crushed into juice and the vanilla bean is split open. The goal is to extract as much flavor as possible. Pour the vodka into a glass with the muddled contents and add the honey syrup. Add ice to the ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini-shaped glass and place the dehydrated pineapple on top of the drink.
Inspired by the 100 Mile movement that focuses on products grown or produced within 100 miles of a destination, the Lokahi (Hawaiian for unity) was created by Four Seasons Lanai’s food and beverage manager Jeremy Sidman and chef Oyvind Naesheim of the hotel’s Nobu Lanai. The drink combines an abundance of flavorful ingredients while demonstrating Four Seasons’ dedication to sustainability and green practices.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Baywww.fourseasons.com/manelebay
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa: Skinny Pina 1¼ oz. Hawaiian Coconut vodkaSplash of fresh lime juice1 oz. pineapple juice2 oz. coconut waterPineapple slice
In a hurricane glass, assemble all the liquid ingredients over ice. Garnish with the pineapple slice.
Faye Tokunaga, a bartender at Stevenson’s Library lounge since Grand Hyatt Kauai opened in 1991, created this concoction. It’s a lighter version of the classic — but fattening — Pina Colada, which usually tops out at over 650 calories. Skinny Pina, with less than 150 calories, is both light and tropical. It retains the pineapple/coconut flavor without the rich, heavy syrups and other ingredients that fill and fatten you up.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spawww.kauai.hyatt.com
Grand Wailea: Coconut Chill Martini Simple Syrup Finely flaked and toasted coconut1¼ parts Grey Goose vodka½ part Disaronno amaretto½ part triple sec1 part coconut milkNutmeg
Rub the outside edge of a martini glass with simple syrup and roll the rim of the glass in some of the toasted coconut. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the vodka, amaretto, triple sec and coconut milk. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is frosted. Strain into the prepared martini glass. Garnish with the rest of the coconut flakes and nutmeg.
This is one of Grand Wailea’s most popular cocktails. In creating it Mich Domingo, lead bartender at the hotel’s Botero Bar, joined forces with one of Grand Wailea’s visiting mixologists. Their goal: Come up with a drink that paid tribute to the coconut, from its liquid to its meat. The nutty fruit is quite present on the taste buds, and yummy toasted coconut flakes and nutmeg add a great aftertaste resulting in a very comforting drink.
Grand Wailea (Maui)www.grandwailea.com
Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel: Hapuna Splash1 oz. Bacardi Superior1 oz. Coco Lopez or equivalent2 oz. pineapple juice3 fresh basil leavesPineapple wedgeCherry parasol
Combine rum, coco lopez, pineapple juice and basil leaves in a shaker glass filled with ice and shake the contents. Pour into a 14 oz. glass. Garnish with the pineapple wedge and cherry parasol.
According to Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel's food and beverage director David Chong, the hotel’s newest drink menu focuses on unblended cocktails. The Hapuna Splash is typical of the style of tropical libation now featured at the resort. Muddling the contents brings out the full effect of the flavors in both the taste and appearance. It’s a relatively easy drink to make, and it tastes great.
Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel (Hawaii Island)www.princeresortshawaii.com/hapuna-beach-prince-hotel
JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa: Ihilani Cooler CocktailRaspberries Blueberries 1¼ part Old Lahaina rum½ part Stirrings ginger liqueur Skewer of raspberry, lychee and blueberry
Layer the bottom of the glass with raspberries. Add a layer of ice and blueberries. Top with ice, then add the rum and ginger liqueur. Garnish with the skewered fruit.
Ihilani’s food and beverage manager Andrew Hope said that the berries in this drink provide a great source of antioxidants while the spice of the ginger provides additional health benefits. Meanwhile, the colors of the drink reflect both the U.S. flag and the Hawaii flag. Although summer is lychee season in Hawaii, this crisp and refreshing signature cocktail is available year-round to Ihilani guests.
JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa (Oahu)www.ihilani.com
The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort: Scratch Mai Tai1 oz. Bacardi Superior½ oz. orange Curacao½ oz. Orgeat almond syrup2 oz. fresh pineapple juice1 oz. fresh orange juice½ oz. Whaler’s dark rum Pineapple and lime wedgesParasol-skewered cherry
Build in a 14 oz. double bucket over ice. Roll the first five ingredients. Float the rum. Garnish with the pineapple and lime wedges and the skewered cherry.
In 1944, Vic Bergeron (a.k.a. Trader Vic) created the original Mai Tai cocktail for The Royal Hawaiian. Now the Waikiki hotel is pouring a fun twist on the original with its Scratch Mai Tai, which puts forth bold, complex flavors — call it a tropical drink with a punch. Its solid and full-bodied flavor is enhanced by fresh-squeezed juices. The drink goes quite well with the island-inspired cuisine served at The Royal’s Mai Tai Bar.
The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort (Oahu)www.royal-hawaiian.com
Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa: Makana1¼ oz. Okolehao liqueur1¼ oz. Old Lahaina light rum¾ oz. Canton ginger liqueur3 oz. pineapple juice2 oz. club soda3 oz. Chandon Rose sparkling wineMaui Gold pineapple wedge
Pour the Okolehao liqueur, light rum and ginger liqueur into a shaker with ice and shake briskly. Pour over ice and add the pineapple juice and club soda. Top with the sparkling wine and garnish with the pineapple wedge.
Honoring Sheraton Maui’s 50th anniversary, Makana (Hawaiian for gift) was created by the hotel’s food and beverage director Brandon Maeda. In its use of local ingredients, Makana embodies Sheraton Maui’s rich history of legends and myths. Enlivened by Okolehao liqueur, a native spirit made from the root of the east Maui ti plant and dubbed Hawaiian Moonshine throughout history, it’s a Hawaiian drink with a real sense of place.
Sheraton Maui Resort and Spawww.sheraton-maui.com
The Luana Cooler is one of the best signature Hawaiian drinks available. // (c) 2013 Fairmont Orchid Hawaii
Lokahi 100 Mile Cocktail // (c) 2013 Four Seasons Resorts Lanai
Skinny Pina // (c) 2013 Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa
Coconut Chill Martini // (c) 2013 Grand Wailea
Hapuna Splash // (c) 2013 Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel
Ihilani Cooler Cocktail // (c) 2013 JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa
Scratch Mai Tai // (c) 2013 The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort
Makana // (c) 2013 Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa