Mixed Messages

Lei ChicUncork. Pour. Drink. Repeat.

Happy hour with your friends has gotten pretty predictable. A bottle, a corkscrew, and frankly a lot of wining.

Leave it to two veteran bartenders to shake things up.

Amie Fujiwara and Jesse Greenleaf got their start at 90's hot spot Studebaker's before winning awards for their creations behind some of Hawaii's best known bars. Now at Duke's Waikiki, the duo has compiled 80+ of the best local concoctions into The Cocktail Handbook. The criteria for recipes they sought out was stiff; the bartender had to have 10 years experience in Hawaii, their drinks had to be completely original to the islands and off any menu. 

The secret cocktails include The Lava Lamp, Don Jito, Royal Screw, and The Original Sin. As a chaser, Fujiwara and Greenleaf include stories about the inspiration behind the libations and bios of the bartenders. Plus, there are tips for you on how to be the best customer. Tops on the list: stay out of the area where waitresses go to place their orders.

In the back is a detailed list of the tools and techniques you'll need to turn that next get together into the best bash your friends may never remember.

Bar none.


The Cocktail Handbook: Cool Drinks from Hawaii's Bartenders launch party is  tomorrow at Duke's Waikiki. A $20 ticket includes cocktails, pupus, and a copy of the book.  Get it in bookstores this weekend for $15.95 or click here to order it online.

Just in time for Mardi Gras, we asked Amie and Jesse for the best local cocktails to mix up with your malasadas. Enjoy.

Afternoon Delight – Amie suggests this fruity mix to help offset the sweet

1 1/2 oz mandarin vodka
1 oz passion fruit juice
1 oz cranberry juice
1 oz sweet-and-sour mix
1 tsp. passion fruit concentrate
2-3 slices of lime
1-2 slices of orange
Splash of 7UP

Fill mixing tin halfway with ice. Add vodka, juices, sweet-and-sour mix and concentrate. Squeeze juices from fresh fruits into tin, reserving a lime wedge then add the fruit itself. Shake vigorously eight to 10 times, strain into a tall glass of ice and add a splash of 7UP.

Luana Hills Chip Shot  – Jesse's pick for those who love coffee with their malasadas
3/4 oz. Irish cream liqueur
3/4 oz. Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
1/2 oz. Tuaca liqueur
2 oz. espresso, freshly brewed
2 dashes of freshly ground cinnamon

In a 5-oz martini glass, combine the three liqueurs. Top with espresso and a dash of cinnamon, finishing with a light float of whipped cream followed with one more dash of cinnamon.