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SKY Waikiki introduces new Spring Surf Cocktail Collection

This past Tuesday, April 11, 2017, SKY Waikiki held a media event to formally introduce their new Spring Surf Cocktail Collection, expertly crafted by Jennifer Ackrill, Top of Waikiki and SKY Waikiki’s Director of Mixology.

Inspired by the world-famous breaks surrounding Oahu’s shores, the Spring Surf Cocktail Collection evokes island beach life from gentle, rolling waves and salty breezes, to the adrenaline and excitement of pumping North Shore barrels.

The collection includes:

After Green Lanterns 
Tanqueray gin, Midori, lemon, lime, egg white, black Hawaiian sea salt – $13
After a day getting tossed about in the waters of Green Lanterns, a relaxing, airy cocktail, reminiscent of the green ocean, is just what the doctor ordered.
(surf break map marker 3)

Haleiwa Half Step
Brandy, lemon juice, apple bitters, prosecco – $13
This variation of a French 75 is perfect for a Sunday Haleiwa brunch picnic. It is lower in alcohol to enjoy for the whole day!
(surf break map marker 4)

Treasure at Kaʻena Point
Captain Morgan Black spiced rum, merlot, grapefruit, cinnamon, lemon, pineapple, Angostura bitters – $13
At Ka’ena Point, pirates are rumored to have buried six treasure chests in 1823. With a rum base, this cocktail is one any pirate would be happy to share with his mates.
(surf break map marker 1)

Kahala Back Girl
Leblon cachaca, vodka, lime juice, orange bitters, soda – $13
Kahala’s lazy beaches make for a great place to relax, watch the wind surfers and enjoy this summertime hit. It is tart, herby, and easy to drink.
(surf break map marker 5)

Malaekahana Mix
Appleton Jamaican rum, lime, cold brew, coconut crème,crème de cacao, mole bitters, kiawe smoked sea salt, toasted marshmallow – $13
Malaekahana is the perfect beach after a long day of surfing. Once the sun dips beneath the horizon, a campfire and toasted marshmellows hit the spot.
(surf break map marker 7)

Pop’s Midnight Mule
Averna, Jim Beam, lime, ginger beer, soda, House spiced bitters – $13
The Waikiki break, Pops, is one where you can catch waves under the moonlight while watching the stars, patiently waiting for the perfect one. This drink is dark and groovy with lemon stars as a garnish.
(surf break map marker 6)

Yokohama Old Fashioned
Kikori Japanese whiskey, Kina l’Aero d’Or aperitif, Bacardi 8, Regan’s orange bitters – $13
Any of the Westside breaks can be dodgy during winter’s high season. Yokohama’s northernmost break is as beautiful as it is strong, just like this Old Fashioned riff with Kikori Japanese rice whiskey
(surf break map marker 2)

Note each cocktail has a surf break map pin marker number, where below is where it’s referenced to on the island of Oahu:

1) Ka’ena Point; 2) Yokohama’s; 3) Green Lanterns; 4) Haleiwa; 5) Kahala; 6) Pops; 7) Malaekahana

Following is the complete SKY Waikiki menu and Happy Hour menu for Spring 2017, including all food and drinks:

SKY Waikiki Spring 2017 Menu PDF download here

SKY Waikiki Spring 2017 Happy Hour Menu PDF download here

As previously mentioned, a Hawaii media event took place this past Thursday, April 11, 2017, to introduce these new cocktails, where on behalf of the Tasty Island, Yours Truly was invited to attend. Following is photographic coverage and final commentary of the event. Enjoy. ;-)

The Spring Surf Cocktail Media Event was held in the SKY Waikiki main lounge

Sky Waikiki Mixologist Jennifer Ackrill’s “office equipment”

SKY Waikiki Ahi Poke

SKY Waikiki Vegetable Spring Rolls with Mae Ploy Sauce

Anchovy & Tomato Ragu Bruschetta

SKY Waikiki house-made Caramel Chocolate Popcorn

Top of Waikiki and SKY Waikiki Executive Chef Lance Kosaka

SKY Waikiki Director of Mixology Jennifer “Jen” Ackrill presents the new Spring Surf Cocktail Collection

Media photo ops

Left to right: Haleiwa Half Step, Kahala Back Girl, Devil’s Rock Dive Report, Pop’s Midnight Mule, Treasure at Ka’ena Point and After Green Lanterns

Served with the Spring Surf Cocktail Cocktail samples were light pupus by Top of Waikiki and SKY Waikiki Executive Chef Lance Kosaka, including Ahi Poke, Vegetable Spring Roll,  Anchovy & Tomato Ragu Bruschetta and House-made Caramel Chocolate Popcorn

SKY Waikiki Mixologist Jen Ackrill prepares another drink during her presentation

SKY Waikiki’s new Spring Surf Cocktail Collection sampler spread

After Green Lanterns sampler

Devil’s Rock Dive Report sampler

Treasure at Ka’ena Point sampler

Yokohama Old Fashioned sampler

Malaekahana Mix sampler

Left to right: Malaekahana Mix, Yokohama Old Fashioned, Devil’s Rock Dive Report, Pop’s Midnight Mule, Yokohama Old Fashioned (repeat), Treasure at Ka’ena Point, Kahala Back Girl and After Green Lanterns samplers

Jennifer “Jen” Ackrill, Director of Mixology for Top of Waikiki and SKY Waikiki showcases the new Spring Surf Cocktails Collection

Prepared at the event by Mixologist Jennifer Ackrill,  the actual drinks off the menu how they will be served @ front center: Yokohama Old Fashioned; second row left to right: After Green Lanterns, Kahala Back Girl, Pop’s Midnight Mule and Malaekahana Mix; back row left to right: Devil’s Rock Report, Haleiwa Half Step and Treasure at Ka’ena Point

Malaekahana Mix sampler

And? First of all, wow these cocktails are STIFF! Whew, after finishing the first two smaller sampler cups I was already light-headed. That’s partially because normally I don’t drink any hard liquor, so even mixed down in drinks like this I feel it quickly.

I also noticed for the most part these weren’t as fruity as I expected, with the whole Hawaii surf theme ‘n all. They were more herbal, spicy (as in think cloves, not peppers), while somewhat I’d say medicinal. Also very complex, where unless you’re really familiar with mixed drinks or have worked as a bartender, you’d be hard pressed to know exactly what was in each one.

If I had to pick favorites, it would definitely be the After Green Lanterns and Malaekahana Mix.

The After Green Lanterns obviously has the most dramatic bright green color, making it easily the most visually attractive of the bunch. Made with Tanqueray gin, Midori, lemon, lime, egg white and black Hawaiian sea salt, flavor-wise, it came across sort of as more lime, yet not in a fruity or acidic way. More medicinally complex to me, while none-the-less in a delicious way. Surprisingly I couldn’t taste much of the melon tone from the Midori in it, yet I think that’s what made it complex, again in a good way. I sort of summarized it as the liquified alcohol version of a Lime flavored Lifesaver candy, yet not that sweet, and certainly a bit more complex than that, yet similar. “Subtle and discrete, yet not annoying”, as Rap’s Aunty Marialani would say. lol

The Malaekahana Mix won me over simply because of its creamy coconut tone. I’m a sucker for coconut flavored whatever, and this one had that. Made with Jamaican Rum, lime, cold brew, coconut creme, creme de cacao, mole bitters, cinnamon, kiawe smoked tea sea salt and a cute toasted marshmallow as garnish, it was also rather complex, hitting from all kinds of angles, yet ultimately that sort of mocha coconut creme hard mixed drink punch did it for me. In fact I grabbed a second round of the Malaekahana Mix sampler! If I were to take you to SKY Waikiki and buy you a drink, this is what I’d get you.

As for the pupus by Chef Lance Kosaka? Winnahz!

You know me and Ahi Poke. If it’s top shelf stuff, and you’re serving that to me? I’ll love you for life! lol Seriously, that Ahi Poke really was “like buttah” awesome, with just the right amount of shoyu, sesame oil and I think mirin in there. The only thing I hate when get ‘dis ‘kine killah Ahi Poke, is when stay get plenny left, and nobody like stay finish ’em, as it was at this event? I like go whack da’ res’, but I no like “make A” laddat in front of everyone. You know that routine. lol

The Vegetable Spring Roll with Sweet Thai Chili Sauce satiated my usual craving for fried food while drinking, while also not being too heavy. 

Then there’s that Anchovy & Tomato Ragu Bruschetta, which was out of this world! Loved it! If only I had some balsamic vinegar and EVOO to dip it in, and it would be Bruschetta HEAVEN up in the SKY… Waikiki that is!

I actually think this pupu platter would have paired better with wine vs. these style of mixed drinks, yet because they were mixed so “stiff”, that high alcohol content did help give it some “cut” for these delicate-meets-intense, multi-textural small bites.

Summing it up, at $13 per cocktail, that’s a pretty stiff price, yet as long as the bartenders mix these as “stiff” as they were served to us by Jen, you should be satisfied with whichever one you choose. Like I said, they’re for the most part not fruity, but more herbal, spiced, and medicinal in tone, all in a delicious way. I really did enjoy each one for what it was, while easily picking my two favorites, again being the After Green Lanterns and Malaekahana Mix.

Pomai Souza of the Tasty Island with Ellise Fujii of Harris Agency at SKY Waikiki – 4/11/17

Huge mahalos to Director of Mixology Jen Ackrill, Executive Chef Lance Kosaka, SKY Waikiki VP of Marketing Kainoa Akina, as well the entire SKY Waikiki staff working the event. You all rocked it! Also mahalos to fellow media for being so gracious and friendly. I love attending these functions because of folks like you! Finally, mahalos to Ellise Fujii of the Harris Agency for extending the invitation to the Tasty Island. Yay!

Panoramic view looking Ewa-bound From SKY Waikiki’s main lounge deck atop the Waikiki Business Plaza

View of Waikiki beach from SKY Waikiki’s top floor lobby window, with the Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton hotels in the foreground (the rounded edge roof above is the floor of the Top of Waikiki revolving restaurant, right above SKY Waikiki)

SKY Waikiki and Top of Waikiki revolving restaurant is located at the top of the Waikiki Business Plaza on Kalakaua Avenue

High above world-famous Waikiki Beach and Kalakaua Avenue sits Hawaii’s ultimate rooftop experience: SKY Waikiki, Rooftop Restaurant, Lounge, and Nightclub. Featuring innovative signature cocktails, mouth-watering social bites, live music and DJs, and unparalleled views, SKY Waikiki is the quintessential Hawaii destination to put on your bucket list.

SKY WAIKIKI Hours of Operation
• Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday 5pm – 11pm; Friday & Saturday 5pm – 2am
• Happy Hour Wednesday – Sunday 5pm – 7pm in the Main Lounge
• Weekend live entertainment from 6pm – 9pm
• Dress code: resort casual for sunset operations and upscale attire for nightlife operations
• For Nightlife VIP Service Reservations, email VIP@skywaikiki.com or call (808) 979-7591
• Restaurant reservations available at skywaikiki.com or by calling (808) 979-7590
• Validated parking available in the Waikiki Business Plaza and Waikiki Shopping Plaza

Executive Chef – Lance Kosaka
Mixologist – Jennifer Ackrill
Managers – Gerald Tom, Merielle Tomas, Jenna Yoshimura

2270 Kalakaua Avenue, 19th Floor
Honolulu, HI. 96815

Tel. (808) 979-7590

Related links:
SKY Waikiki Rises to the Top – The Tasty Island attends their grand opening gala


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