6 Spots in Honolulu Where You Can Cool Down with a Mocktail This Summer
Because, really, who wants to order a boring soda?
The mocktails from SKY Waikīkī are just some of the latest nonalcoholic drinks that gEt us buzzing.
Photos: Enjy El-Kadi
Now that some of us are pushing 30, the idea of going out for pau hana with our co-workers (on a weekday?!) is starting to fill us with dread. Lucky for us, these six places offer fun mixed drinks with all of the flavor and none of the hangover.
Chinatown’s most-hyped new restaurant offers more than just really, really good food: Its menu features a drink called “Mike’s Mocktail,” which, not surprisingly, is also really good. Just like the rest of the ever-evolving menu, the type of mocktail changes every other month. And, so far, we haven’t been disappointed. The latest concoction is a light and floral lavender-honey mocktail that acts like summer and tastes like spring.
$6, Senia, 75 N. King St., (808) 200-5412, restaurantsenia.com
SEE ALSO: Is Restaurant Senia Worth the Hype?
2. SKY Waikīkī
We have to admit, we were pleasantly surprised to find mocktails at a nightlife destination like SKY Waikīkī. Listed on its menu under Driving Tonight or Surfing Tomorrow is not one but three nonalcoholic cocktails: Dawn Patrol, Over the Pali and Hapai Happiness. We decided to try Dawn Patrol, which is made with pineapple jalapeño shrub, lemon juice and soda water, and Hapai Happiness, which is made with yuzu syrup, lime, basil and soda water. SKY mixologist Jen Ackrill’s masterful drink mixes almost made us forget that there’s no alcohol in these drinks. Almost.
$7, SKY Waikīkī, 2270 Kalākaua Ave., (808) 979-7589, skywaikiki.com
3. Café Lani
We happened to be there as the bartender lined up all of the mocktails at once and it was beautiful.
The drink menu at Café Lani in Ala Moana Center is a mocktail jackpot: 10 different nonalcoholic cocktails that come in Instagram-worthy colors and fun flavors including Matcha Milk, Hawaiian Blue and Green Apple. We ordered the Cinderella, which was a mix of orange juice, pineapple juice and lemonade, and the Hibiscus Dream, made from hibiscus syrup, a splash of lemon juice and soda water. We definitely want to go back and try the remaining eight.
$5, Café Lani, Ala Moana Center, Mall Level 2, (808) 955-5599
SEE ALSO: First Look: Café Lani Hawai‘i
4. Lucky Belly
We were happy to discover that one of our favorite spots for comfort food during a stressful workweek also serves two Island-inspired mocktails: the Chinatown Swizzle is made with galangal, kaffir lime, lemongrass, drinking vinegar and coconut water for a flavor that is as unique as its namesake; the Liliko‘i Fizz is made with liliko‘i purée, spiced almond syrup, fresh mint and club soda for a definitely delicious summer drink.
$5, Lucky Belly, 50 N. Hotel St., (808) 531-1888, luckybelly.com
5. The Pig & The Lady
Everyone knows that The Pig & The Lady serves amazing pho (and banh mi. Oh, and don’t forget the frozen custard), but did you know there’s also a mocktail on the menu? Pineapple, kaffir lime and black pepper combine to create a citrusy, spicy drink that feels like a wake-up call for your tastebuds.
6. Hukilau Honolulu
Conveniently located right next to the HONOLULU Magazine offices, Hukilau Honolulu is our go-to spot for pau hana and local food. The restaurant recently added two nonalcoholic cocktails to the menu. Sometimes, the best way to deal with intense summer heat is to offset it with eating or drinking something equally hot (it’s science—don’t question it) and the virgin Bloody Mariko at the Hukilau definitely made us forget how hot it was outside. Made with a seafood-based umami, wasabi (!), a squeeze of lemon juice and topped with a manchego-stuffed olive, it was even too hot for me to handle (my drinking buddy, however, loved it). Lucky for my burning throat and nose, the restaurant also offers the super refreshing Lara’s Strawberry Mojito made with Let Them Eat Cupcake’s homemade, fresh strawberry syrup.
Side note: Order the Hukilau’s new frozen rosé (frosé) if you are planning on drinking tonight. You’ll thank us.
$9 Bloody Mariko, $8 Lara’s Strawberry Mojito, 1088 Bishop St., (808) 523-3460, dahukilau.com/honolulu/home
Join us for an evening of fantastic food, creative cocktails and exhilarating entertainment as we celebrate Hawai‘i’s very best restaurants at the 2018 Hale ‘Aina Awards: Destination Delicious on Sept. 17 at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Take a culinary trip around the world in one evening while you dine on artfully crafted dishes from Hawai‘i’s best chefs. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.