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Sep 18, 2010 09:50 AM

Recommendations please for GREAT Cocktails in O'ahu

Hi everyone. I've been reading through all of the great posts on food for my upcoming trip to O'ahu (We leave Monday! I can't wait). Hubby and I will be staying in the Waikiki area and will definitely take advantage of all of the recommendations on food.

However, I'm also really looking for some recommendations on places that really serve up a great cocktail. The classics like Martini's, Manhattans, etc. But also some using the local ingredients.

Great Ambiance would be cool too, but when you are in Hawaii from my perspective, everything is great! I'd be happy with 'good' cocktail recommendations too.

Thank you all in advance for your generosity and help.


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  1. you just can't beat sitting on the patio at the halekulani with the sunset, hawaiian music, beautiful hula, great pupu's and a good cocktail.

    Rumfire at the sheraton has gotten some attention lately, and I've heard that Tiki's at the Marriot is pretty good too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: KaimukiMan

      Thank you so much KaimukiMan! I think we'll try at least the halekulani. Will report back. Thank you again.

    2. My favorite places for great cocktails, especially the old school prohibition-era (or older!) classics:

      -Town restaurant on Waialae Ave, Kaimuki
      -Thirty-nine Hotel on Hotel St, Chinatown
      -Apartment3 on Kapiolani Blvd, across from the convention center
      -Lewers Lounge inside the Halekulani Hotel, Waikiki
      -Nobu Waikiki

      These are the types of places where the bartenders are true masters of their craft and not just beer slingers or pretty flirty faces or flair shows. The sort of places where you can sit down at the bar and talk about a certain ingredient or liquor or flavor you like or want to try, and they'll tailor something to your tastes. And if you really want old school, the guy at Town can probably even tell you the history behind your classic cocktail as well as the local ingredients used for that gin-infusion.

      Good for you for your interest in the Hawaii cocktail scene and understanding that it's far more than mai tais and pina coladas!

      2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

      3 Replies
      1. re: wavsurfer

        Awesome suggestions! That's exactly what we were looking for on this trip. Going to try as many of them out as possible. I do love a good Mai Tai but can only stand the 'sweet' for so long before I need something a bit more refined and dry. Thank you so much. (I'm so excited I can barely speak...!)

        1. re: Spiritsforme07

          Wavesurfer has a great list. I second Town for amazing creations by Dave the bar manager. He does research in to old cocktail books and finds great gins, bourbons
          and other spirits for delicious and unique creations many using local fruits and herbs.
          He make a mean gin punch (actually several variations) but I don't think they're a regular offering, I had it at one of their parties. The sangria of the day are always good too, his are the best though!

          I also agree Halekulani is a lovely lovely spot to enjoy outside and beautiful ambiance. At night the Lewers Lounge is a fabulous place as well.

          Lewers Lounge
          2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

          2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

          1. re: manomin

            What about the bars at both the Moan Surfrider and the Royal Hawaiian? Remember, I am a wino, so do not know my cocktails well enough.



            Royal Hawaiian
            2259 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815

      2. Indigo Restaurant does Martini Madness $4 Martini's(a large variety) 4-7pm weekdays and they serve tapas for free. Bar 35 does the same things, and is just around the corner but for $5, no free food. But I would suggest going to both because they are both great places. Nearby is JJ Dolan's Pub(personal fave) that serves a good slice of pizza and Hotel 39. In fact, make this a pub crawl and go to each. Start at Indigo's, then JJ Dolan's, Bar 35, then Hotel 39.

        1. I am much, much of a wino, but the House Without a Key, at the Halekulani sounds like the right sort of spot. Great Hawaiian music on the stage, and a good compliment of drinks.

          The diners are below my standards, but the pu`pus are good.



          2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815