At Lewers Lounge in the Halekulani hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii, head bartender Tim Rita is making cocktails based on competitions, not devised for them. His summer menu additions are original beverage creations themed around two competitive race events: the Tour de France and the Tinman Hawaii Triathlon.
“For this menu, I worked with key staff to identify an overall concept and plot out specific drinks,” Rita says. “We chose to honor two popular athletic events that many of our guests could relate to; the Tour de France is widely watched around the globe, and the Tinman Triathlon is a beloved hometown favorite.”
Available until August, guests can sip on The Winner’s Cup ($12), a mix of Bacardi Superior rum, Disaronno Amaretto liqueur, pineapple juice, lime juice, simple syrup and sparkling wine, garnished with a flamed orange peel.
Rita and his staff also created a flight of 2-ounce mini drinks that mimic the order of the triathlon. The flights are $16, but guests also can purchase the full-size cocktails for $12 each. The Ehukai, Thyme to Roll and Revive Elixir represent the swimming, biking and running portions of the race, respectively.
The Ehukai incorporates Kai Coconut Pandan vodka, mangoes, pomegranate liqueur, basil and lime; Thyme to Roll mixes Maker’s Mark and orange curaçao with blueberries and thyme; and Revive Elixir includes Kai Lychee vodka, raspberries, calamansi and mint, topped with homemade soursop soda.
“The Ehukai means ‘red-tinged water,’ hence the reddish hue to the cocktail,” Rita says. “Ehukai is a popular surf spot on the North Shore that is well-known by islanders. When I think of swimming in the morning, especially in Hawaii, the water has a beautiful red-tinged color created by the rising sun. All of the ingredients are tropical or ocean-themed to the finishing touch of the surfboard-shaped mango for garnish.”