The Beach House

You, your spouse and your two grown daughters have had a long, hard day at Koloa Landing, lounging in your cabana under the palms, swimming through the waterfall grotto in the resort’s “Best Pool in America” (USA Today), and taking a stroll to world-famous Poipu Beach to body surf together. Now it’s almost Kauai Happy Hour and you couldn’t be happier because you are heading to the Beach House in Lawai to enjoy Kauai cocktails and dinner together — just a five-minute shuttle ride from the resort.

As you pull up to the restaurant on this warm July eve your daughter says, “Good thing I made a reservation — this place is thronged!” She is a much better planner than you’ve ever been.

“Well done,” says your spouse. “As long as they don’t run out of gin!”

The restaurant’s oceanfront lawn is teeming with vacationers, honeymooners and locals, sipping cocktails, snapping photos and being wowed by the smattering of surfers tearing up the nearby waves. A wedding reception is in full swing on the far side of the property, and the music and laughter bring a sense of celebration as the late sun casts a golden glow.

Your spouse leads you and your daughters inside to the bar now, and you contemplate the offerings. How to choose? Each drink on the signature cocktail menu sounds better than the next. Is there time for two rounds? (You think, this is why god created the resort shuttle.)

You decide upon a No Ka Oi —  mostly because it’s fun to say out loud. Your daughter orders the Concrete Jungle, and your spouse, a Makawao Ave. Your other daughter is enticed by the fresh-squeezed POG (pineapple-orange-guava) from the mocktail menu.

The bartender starts mixing, squeezing, slicing and muddling. When he lines up the colorful offerings in a row on the bar, you gratefully ooh and ah, lift your glasses and toast to the glorious island of Kauai — and to spending quality time together.

“What the–??” you say, eyes wide. Your drink is delicious. You hand it to your spouse who trades you for a sip of his. Soon you are all talking at once and singing the praises of your bartender.

“Don’t try this at home, kids,” your spouse chuckles.

That gets you thinking. Maybe we CAN try to make these . . .

Let’s take a deeper look at some recipes for tropical Kauai cocktails

1. No Ka Oi

No ka oi in Hawaiian means “the best” and you’re pretty sure that this is the best-tasting tropical cocktail you’ve ever had. (And you’ve had many . . .) The Beach House makes it with:

  • 2 oz. of Organic Ocean Vodka
  • the juice of half a lime
  • 2 oz. of fresh lilikoi puree
  • a Thai basil leaf for garnish

The simplicity of the ingredients — without syrups or sweeteners or any other hooha — is what makes this taste so potent and true. Deep lilikoi flavor plays with the lime’s citrusy tang and there’s a nice warmth from the vodka. The basil leaf adds an herbaceous aroma to every sip. You ask your family to kindly address you as “Lili” for the rest of the evening, thank you very much.

2. Concrete Jungle

The bartender pulls out the Fid Street gin with its unique teal bottle. With 11 Hawaiian botanicals, this is only the second gin created in Hawaii since Prohibition, and you know this cocktail is gonna deliver when he calls it “the Negroni’s tropical cousin.”

  • 2 oz Fid Street Gin
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed pineapple juice
  • the juice of half a lime
  • splash of cinnamon syrup

The local gin offers floral, citrus and evergreen essence, and the bitter Campari is softened by sweet pineapple. A whisper of cinnamon brings a little heat. Your daughter doesn’t want to share any more of it.

3. The Makawao Ave

Meaning “eye of the forest” in Hawaiian, Makawoa is also a street on Maui where this flavor-bomb was invented. With notes of anise and oak, Rittenhouse Rye brings a smoky essence, but it’s the house-made cayenne ginger beer that really packs a punch. (Note to self: find an extra spicy ginger beer back home.)

  • Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • a drizzle of honey
  • house-made cayenne ginger beer

Your spouse sniffs the aroma, checks out the color, and then raises his glass again to you all.

“Ladies,” he says, “tonight is all about lifting our spirits!”

Your daughters catch on.

“Ugh, Dad!!”

“No dad jokes, please!”

He winks at you.



Book your stay with Koloa Landing, the best beach resort in Kauai, today! Our complimentary shuttle is at the ready to ferry you to this and many other delicious destinations on the South Shore.

— Erica Karlin