Pour Party: 4 Drinks That Have Been Elevating Our Zoom Pau Hana Sessions
Pau hana at home with any ol’ bottle of booze just isn’t the same as slinging back expertly crafted drinks made by our favorite bartenders.
Thankfully, an emergency proclamation in April 2020 allowed restaurants to sell prepackaged cocktails for takeout and delivery along with food orders. One year later there’s still no end date, even with bars and restaurants open again, so we’re crossing our fingers the exception becomes the rule. (If the emergency ends by the time this issue arrives, the next round of these in-person is on me.)
1. Baby Shark
Don’t be dismayed by the size of this 4-ounce bottle: Redfish’s takeout-only drink combines the taste of lemon-peel gummies with the fun of a white gummy bear shot for a potent but tasty sip. Lemon-peel-infused rum and white li hing mix with lime juice, strawberry liqueur, and blue Curaçao for the bright hue.
2. Beautiful Agony
$24 for two servings
We wouldn’t judge if you stuck a straw right into the pouch that Bevy packs its takeout cocktails in, but the garnishes are vacuum-sealed separately so you can assemble the spicy, smoky cocktail at home up to a week later. Smooth honey syrup and elderflower liqueur make it sweet, lemon and grapefruit make it sour, and habanero tequila and mezcal make it sassy.
3. Clear Ice
Pick up some clear ice from On the Rock, Hawai‘i’s Craft Ice Co. to re-create the bar experience. OTR also offers ice subscriptions as well as luxe cubes with flowers suspended inside.
4. Mango Matchasu
Not everyone in Waikīkī wants a dark green cocktail, but locals know how well matcha can complement fresh fruit. Imagine a healthy smoothie of matcha and puréed mango but replace the almond milk with Morimoto junmai sake and lemon-lime soda and you’ve got this refreshing cocktail from Momosan Waikīkī.
5. Tokyo Spritz
$30 for two servings
In summer, when day and night are equal, so is the balance of lightness and sweetness in Gaslamp’s botanical-forward cocktail featuring Empress 1908 gin, made with color-changing butterfly pea blossoms. Notes of rose, yuzu, lychee and shiso rise when sparkling Ozeki Hana Awaka sake tops off the well-rounded drink. It’s $8 extra to get a bottle of the sake on the side to add it in yourself.