Bar report: The Study in the Modern Honolulu
Left: Dante's Inferno, right: War and Peace
In Waikiki, formerly the Lobby Bar in the Modern Honolulu, 1775 Ala Moana Blvd.
The original bar that used to champion balanced, intriguing craft cocktails and fresh, housemade ingredients is no more; The Study, as a concept, doesn’t hit any home runs … and don’t most people drink to get away from school and studying?
Austere, fairly sterile, stark white, though some minimalist furniture along the walls make for good lounging. The menus are set in oversized composition notebooks, and drinks are named after famous novels, but that’s where the theme ends.
The Study is a re-branded version of the Lobby Bar in theformer Edition Hotel. The former bar set out to bring craft cocktails to Honolulu, introducing some innovative drinks including a deconstructed mai tai with orgeat foam and a rotating milk punch, but it devolved into less than a shadow of its predecessor.
Drinks are named after classic novels such as War and Peace, The Scarlet Letter, and Dante’s Inferno, but there’s little connection otherwise between the drinks and the novels, and make no mistake, this menu is not for the well read. Tolstoy’s 1869 epic deals with the French invasion of Russia, told through the eyes of aristocratic Russian families. But The Study’s War and Peace is decidedly American—a lowbrow cross between a whiskey sour and whiskey smash, made with Jack Daniel’s, lemon, mint, sugar, egg white, and Peychaud’s bitters. Regardless, the wonderfully-executed drink was my favorite of those that I tried.
Cocktail geek Randy Wong is a former bartender and beverage consultant. His cocktails have been cited in many books, including Off The Shelf, Drink & Tell, Food & Wine’s Cocktails 2010: Mixologist All-Stars, Beachbum Berry: Remixed, and at the StarChefs International Chefs Congress in NYC. He’s known for his expert knowledge on tiki music and cocktails.