Frolic on the Rocks: Taking Back Sunday Is a New Highball Cocktail at Chinatown’s EP Bar

Bartender Sam Trusty serves up her latest spin on the tall bevy with a classic flavor romance.


Frolic on the Rocks is a video series spotlighting Hawai‘i’s dynamic cocktail culture—the people behind the bar and the drinks they’re creating.



Bartender: Sam Trusty
Bar: EP Bar
Cocktail: Taking Back Sunday
Ingredients: Sunday’s Japanese blended whisky, green pear and genmaicha syrup, lemon juice, soda water, absinthe spray
Price: $15
If this cocktail were a moment in time, what would it be? “Hearing your favorite song for the first time. New and unfamiliar, but in the best way.” – ST


Tucked behind Morning Glass Coffee on Nu‘uanu Avenue is EP Bar, Honolulu’s only listening bar. In the warmly lit space you’ll find soul-grounding sounds from a quality collection curated by seasoned record selectors, and a menu of uplifting cocktails. Bar manager Sam Trusty has been bartending in Chinatown since 2010 and is known for creating whimsical, approachable drinks like the Mala Sangre and Black Sesame Old Fashioned, both popular on the EP menu.


Among Trusty’s new seasonal cocktails is Taking Back Sunday, a bright, refreshing highball with a surprising depth of flavor. Sunday’s Japanese blended whisky is light and smooth with hints of yuzu and cider. Juicy green pear is fragrant on the nose while genmaicha green tea offers a dry finish with notes of toasted rice. Absinthe and pear are like old lovers, complementing each other endearingly—a proper reason to head out for a Sunday libation, for sure.


1150 Nu‘uanu Ave., (808) 753-9720,,


SEE ALSO: Chinatown’s New Listening Bar Melds Chill Music and Cocktails