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Jul 27, 2017

The Spirits of Summer

There are few things in this world more satisfying than enjoying a refreshing cocktail with friends at the end of a long day.

But with a cocktail renaissance in full bloom, it can be tough deciding which drink to choose. Lucky for us, we've tapped the shoulders of three of our favorite bartenders in Ward Village and asked them to walk us through their favorite summer-inspired cocktails.

The CU Cider Cooler x REAL A Gastropub

Renowned for their extensive beer listings, savory comfort foods, and innovative cocktails, REAL has developed a devoted list of fans over the years. This particular cocktail, dubbed the CU Cider Cooler, is as refreshing a cocktail you'll find anywhere. As their own brainchild, this unique cocktail was concocted by REAL's beverage director, Shane Miyahira, and mixed for us by REAL's owner, Troy Terrorotua.

To be sure, you won't find this delicious beverage anywhere else. Easily executable at home—or enjoyed at REAL with their local watermelon, mint, feta, and barley salad—the CU Cider Cooler is a definite must for any hot afternoon.

The Rundown:
2 lime wedges, squeezed for juice
1 strawberry, roughly chopped
2 slices of cucumber, diced
4 mint leaves
1 oz. of Hendricks gin
2 oz. Rekorderlig passion fruit cider

Gently muddle your fruit, being careful not to break down the ingredients too much.

Fill a shaker cup with ice.

Add 1 oz. of Hendricks gin.

Next, add 2 oz. of your Rekorderlig passion fruit cider.

Then carefully add your muddled ingredients to your shaker cup.

Shake lightly, being mindful that the cider will fizz.

Transfer to your iced serving glass and garnish with a fresh strawberry and lime. Enjoy with friends on a warm summer's day.

Li Hing Mui Margarita x Ryan's Bar and Grill

Located at Ward Centre, Ryan's Grill has become an institution in the city and is famous for their delicious cuisine and irresistible cocktails. And for nearly 23 years, Karri Burnett has worked as the friendly face behind the bar at Ryan's, greeting customers with a warm smile, a wry grin, and a delicious drink. When it comes to Karri's favorite summertime cocktail, she recommends Ryan's famous li hing mui margarita paired with an order of their nachos with spicy black bean relish. Sweet, sour, salty, and delicious, this cocktail is a classic in Hawai'i and is sure to be a hit for both die-hard li hing fans and first-timers alike.

The Rundown:
1 lime wedge
1 small plate of li hing powder
1.25 oz. of li hing mui-infused tequila
1.25 oz. of secret house margarita mix (if making your own mix, we suggest using 1 oz of Cointreau and roughly .5 oz. of lime juice)

Begin by gently squeezing a wedge of lime and rubbing it over the entire rim of your glass.

Then dip the rim of your moistened glass in li hing mui powder.

Next, add 1.25 oz. of your li hing mui-infused tequila to your rimmed glass with ice. (Ryan's soaks li hing mui in tequila for 48 hours.)

Then, add another 1.25 oz. of secret house margarita mix to your glass. Stir gently and serve on the rocks. Finish with a straw and a lime wedge.

The Shoka x Nobu

Renowned for their methodical and polished approach, everything that comes out of Nobu feels like a work of art. And that's especially true of their Shoka cocktail, Nobu's own award-winning drink that's sure to leave your taste buds singing. Created by Nobu's own Kenny Lun, the Shoka (which translates into early summer) is undeniably refreshing, floral, and full of flavor. Plus, it's dangerously smooth and pairs perfectly with any one of Nobu's famous sushi rolls. So just how delectable is the Shoka? The cocktail recently won Nobu's Grand Cordon award, a competition that sees Nobu restaurants from across the country vie for the best cocktail.

The Rundown:
2 oz. lemongrass vodka
1 oz. pineapple ginger puree
.75 oz. unsweetened coconut milk
.5 oz. fresh lemon-lime juice
1 oz. Barspoon Benedictine

Add lemongrass vodka, pineapple ginger puree, coconut milk, lemon-lime juice and Benedictine together in a shaker with ice.

Shake for roughly five seconds.

Strain into coupe and enjoy with friends.

*If you're looking to take this cocktail to the next level, you can recreate the recipe exactly how Nobu Honolulu serves the drink by misting fresh viola flowers with 1 drop of lemongrass essential oils, cut with 2 oz. of water. The flowers, sprayed with the lemongrass oil, can be used as a garnish.

The next time you're craving a craft cocktail, swing by any one of these fine establishments at Ward Village and feel free to shake it up:

Bellini Bistro & Bar
Big City Diner
Buca di Beppo
Dave & Buster's
Mexico Cantina
Piggy Smalls
REAL a Gastropub
Ryan's Grill
Scratch Kitchen & Meatery
Wahoo's Fish Taco

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