Recently, I partnered up with Maria Burke and started a cocktail company. We call ourselves imbibe Hawaii. The goal of our start up is to extend quality cocktails into peoples everyday lives. Whether it’s a wedding or a cocktail party, we are looking to give people cocktails that are higher quality and sourced with love. Simple as that.
Tequila has made a hell of a comeback. Everywhere you look there is a new brand eyeing the perfume bottle at the top of the industry. FInd one you like; drink it. I really don’t care which brand you choose, but here is some advice on some cocktails to make with your choice agave spirit.
You like margaritas? Make ’em. Other than that the most simple drinks are substitution cocktails. Tequila old-fashioneds, hell yes. Manhattans, of course. Other favorites are the Rosita and the Prado. The latter is a very simple “sour” cocktail using maraschino as the sweetener and lime as the sour. The drink is damn good and egg whites extend the mouthfeel of the maraschino liqueur adding a complex element to a simple drink.Prado 1 1/2 oz tequila 3/4 oz lime juice 1/2 oz maraschino 1/2 egg white dry shake ingredients then add ice shake properly and strain into coupe class
Damn fine drink.
I’m not much for early shows. However, today I visited the folks at Hawaii News Now on their Sunrise program. Alison with Lei Chic has a biweekly segment and wanted to try some things. I gave them a couple ideas for New Years Eve cocktails with local spirits. The first drink I shared was the Old Cuban. Next, I went with a very simple non-alcoholic drink with the seemingly ever-present elderflower and bubbles. Begrudgingly, I ran out of time and didn’t get to share the most interesting drink I had prepped for. The Bali Hai is truly local and its complex blend of okolehao, local fruit flavors and champagne is remarkable. The tiki New Year is waiting.
Okolehao is a dead liquor from pre-colonized Hawaii. Recently, a local rum maker started making the ti leaf liquor again but has sweetened it up to liqueur status. I’m not too sure about the authenticity of the product but the flavor is interesting. I’ve modified the recipe to fit what I think is a bit tastier.Bali Hai 1 oz okolehao liqueur 1/2 oz light rum 1/4 oz orange juice 1/4 oz pineapple juice 1/4 oz guava nectar barspoon passion fruit juice 1/4 oz orgeat 3/4 oz lemon juice 2 oz champagne Combine everything but champagne in a shaking tin with crushed ice. Shake and pour into a glass. Top with champagne.
Just so there are no questions on the Old Cuban, I’ve attached a recipe.Old Cuban 1 1/2 oz aged rum 3/4 lime juice 3/4 simple syrup 8-10 mint leaves dash old fashioned bitters 1 oz champagne Shake all ingredients with ice and double strain into glass. Top with champagne.
The blue bottle is the vodka drinker’s gin. Let’s not hold that against the folks at Bombay Sapphire. They throw a hell of a party and we enjoyed ourselves at pearl “ultralounge,” whatever that is. Here is a video to prove it. Mahalo to the Bacardi folks for setting it up and Ryan for the rad video.
There are many a cocktalian that would love to take credit for reviving the craft of bartending. One of the few (very few) that deserves a pat on the back is Audrey Saunders. Her moscow mule, gin-gin, and mojito plays together like a fine concert. The familiar sugar, lime and classic mint balance with the botanicals from the gin and spice of ginger beer. This is one of the first versions in our little cocktail world of taking a classic and making it better. Not different; better.The Gin-gin Mule 6-8 mint sprigs 1/2 oz lime juice 1/2 oz simple syrup 1 1/2 oz dry gin 1 oz ginger beer muddle lime, syrup and mint lightly add ice, gin and beer and incorporate all using a bar spoon garnish with mint sprig
In the spirit of experimentation, feel free to find your own favorite version of this modern cocktail marvel. Switch out the spirit to something a little different or add some ginger syrup to knock it up a kick. No ginger beer? Use ginger syrup and soda water to mimic the beer. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, make your own ginger beer then top the drink with soda water to keep the bubbles. Audrey Saunders would approve.
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