38 Best New Dishes and Drinks You Must Try in Hawai‘i
The best new dishes and drinks around the state.
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Best New Drinks
Whiskey cocktails tend to go heavy on the brawn, but this twist on the whiskey sour from Bevy is anything but. Made with liliko‘i, lemon juice and Montenegro amaro, it’s a whiskey cocktail for people who think they don’t like whiskey. But that doesn’t mean it’s not serious: the liliko‘i is subtle and well-integrated, and the amaro adds a note of intrigue. It all adds up to an ideal warm-weather sipper—light, fluffy and dangerously easy to drink.
$10, Bevy, 661 Auahi St., 594-7445
Save for the mighty piña colada, pineapple juice doesn’t tend to show up in the serious cocktail world with great frequency. But with this offering from 12th Ave Grill, the fruit gets its due. A mix of dark rum, dry curacao (a less sweet style of orange liqueur revived from the 19th century), and a pineapple-balsamic shrub (a colonial technique for preserving fruits with vinegar and sugar), the drink is both tangy and sweet, wholly unique and about as far from tropical tiki kitsch as one can get.
$10, 1120 12th Ave., 732-9469
Cynar, one of the classic Italian amaros, is made from a proprietary blend of several herbs and spices, the most notable being artichoke. (Trust us: It tastes better than it sounds.) Italians traditionally drink it over ice, or sometimes with soda water and orange juice for a refreshing kick. But, lately, bartenders stateside have been putting it in distinctive cocktails. The version from Pint and Jigger incorporates Cynar into a classic daiquiri made from rum, lime and sugar. It’s citrusy, sweet and just the right amount of bitter—the ideal companion to the pub grub found on the food side of the menu.
$10, 1936 S. King St., 744-9593
Right Hand Cocktail
Manifest is famous for delivering both top-notch classic cocktails and original concoctions. This example, a twist on the Negroni, straddles both worlds. Subbing rum for gin in the original recipe alongside Campari and sweet vermouth, this version is richer, smoother and just a touch more subtle than its bright red cousin. A dash of Hawai‘i Bitters Co.’s chocolate and ginger bitters adds cozy warmth to the finish—perfect for Manifest’s cocktail-literate late-night scene.
$10, 32 N. Hotel St., manifesthawaii.com
Some cocktails work best with few ingredients. Others, like this twist on a Negroni, skew gloriously maximalist. Gin and Campari form the base, but then it really gets going, with elderflower liqueur, crushed shiso leaf, liliko‘i juice, all topped off with a hit of bubbly Cava. It’s all sweet fruit upfront with the herbal notes coming behind, a surprisingly bold drink for being served in such a delicate flute.
$10, Lucky Belly, N. Hotel St., 531-1888
Mezcal, tequila’s smoky cousin, can be a tricky ingredient in a cocktail: Too much, and it can feel like you’re sipping an ashtray. Town gets it right with the Smoking Dove, a mix of mezcal, Cocchi Americano, grapefruit juice, lime juice and honey. The juices lift and lighten, while the honey brings a tonal warmth, adding up to a refreshing drink that lets the mezcal shine, not dominate—the kind of cocktail we want to drink all summer (and winter) long.
$10, 3435 Wai‘alae Ave, 735-5900