Summer is in full swing, hot weather and all. For some of us, the barbecue is working overtime on the back porch to avoid the warming effects of the kitchen stove. Others are finding refuge in the air-conditioned comfort or breezy open-air lanai of a favorite restaurant.
Looking for even more ways to beat the heat? Check out our list of cool summer sipping choices in Kailua Town.
Grace in Growlers and Maui Brewing Company are best bets for beer-lovers who savor the discovery of new craft beers to sample and enjoy.
Grace in Growlers’ self-serve Beer Bar features a rotating selection of local and mainland brews on tap, as well as hard cider, kombucha and cold brew coffee – all purchased by the ounce for easy sampling before you fill your glass. Growler fills are available, too. Sister company Empty Elle Bagels is right next door where you can order Montreal-style bagel sandwiches and open-face bagels with savory or sweet toppings.
At Maui Brewing Company, fill a pint with one of MBC’s year-round craft beers, seasonal releases or three flavors of craft hard seltzer (POG, dragon fruit and citrus). The tap list also features beers from some of the restaurant’s favorite independent craft breweries. You can order any of the specialty draft beers to go, either in a “crowler” (a 32-ounce can, filled and sealed on site) or a pre-purchased 64-ounce growler. MBC now makes non-alcoholic craft sodas, too: Island cola, root beer and ginger beer.
Popular and potent, Easy ‘Que’s alcoholic slushies slide down smoothly on a hot day. You’ll always find three flavors on the menu: The restaurant’s signature vodka-infused Lilikoi Sweet Tea, bourbon-infused Kentucky Lemonade plus a Slushy of the Day (like the mango and vodka punch the day we visited). Mix any two flavors to create your own “Easy Swirl,” and enjoy any slushy at half-price on $5 Thursdays. The non-alcoholic, non-slushy Lilikoi Sweet Tea, is a tasty option, too.
Taqueria El Gallo Rosa is dedicated to making all of its food, including house-milled corn tortillas, from fresh ingredients – no cans or prepared foods in this kitchen. Even their specialty cocktails use freshly squeezed juices and house-made syrups with top-shelf spirits. Try the Margarita del Gallo, with pineapple syrup, tequila and mezcal; La Paloma, taking flight with grapefruit syrup, lime juice and tequila; and the Margarita Oaxaqueña, a medley of mezcal, orange Curaçao, lime juice and watermelon juice.
Born in the early take-out-only days of the pandemic, Kalapawai Café and Deli’s fruity, house-made sangria-to-go may be here to stay. Look for the Pineapple Lilikoi Sauvignon Blanc and Strawberry Guava Rosé Sangria in mason jars in the café’s refrigerated case.
It’s always fun to explore Island Olive Oil’s recipe page for new ways to enjoy the local company’s wide selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Two summery drink recipes recently caught our attention.
The Tropical Refresher features coconut white balsamic and pineapple white balsamic pureed with fresh pineapple. Think pina colada without the added sugar, and enjoy with or without a splash of rum or vodka. The Watermelon Cooler, made with watermelon white balsamic, fresh watermelon and muddled mint leaves, can be enjoyed with a vodka spike – or alcohol-free.