Get Behind HI's Top 'Tenders

Get Behind HI's Top 'Tenders

Slinging drinks is the new modern art. There it is; I've said it. Where we used to coo over frames bedazzled with Warholian primary colors (and even managed to elevate subway car graffiti artists) we now ooh and aah over the use of aspic in our absinthe or calamansi in our martini. Before it becomes totally gauche, it's time to give credit where credit is due. In these trying times, a tasty cocktail can just save the day. Period. So why not pick up the new book by Hawaii's own drink-slingers Jesse Greenleaf and Amie Fujiwara, who tapped 20 of their island peers to share their favorite libation recipes?

Many of said recipes are touted to exist on bar menus throughout Hawaii. (Please don't be an idiot and drive around looking for them.) Others, more intriguingly, are "secret" and "off-the-menu" concoctions that will make you feel like the cool kid who knows the secret password to get in to the hot new speakeasy in town. (What, you don't KNOW about the new speakeasy in town?)

Greenleaf and Fujiwara will sober up enough to 1. launch the book, officially, at Duke's Waikiki om Tuesday, March 8th at 4:30 p.m. ($20 gets you a copy of the book, cocktails, pupus and maybe a gander at a legendary Beach Boy seated at the bar). On Saturday, March 19, the drinky duo will sign their tome at Ala Moana's Barnes & Noble, with a reported Kahala date to follow (unconfirmed at press time).

If you're not sold by now, then these next few lines are fairly pointless. Nonetheless: Greenleaf has earned some sort of respectable award in the beverage industry, as well as having appeared on the Food Network and Travel Channel (who at this point must be desperate for anyone but the tact- and style-less Guy Fieri and classless Adam Richman. An aside, sorry). He's also appeared on something called Three Sheets with Zane Lamprey, which does somehow sound promising. Fujiwara also reportedly (by the publishing company's press release dept.) won some sort of drinky award, and was voted one of Hawaii's Hottest Bartenders by Forbes Travel Guides (who clearly are experts in the field of ranking hotness of bartenders, naturally.)

The Cocktail Handbook boasts more than 80 drink recipes, all of which we have tried during the writing of this story. Totally. Kidding. But our ambitions for 2011 are high, and the gathering of ingredients has certainly begun. Won't you come along?

BTW, if you want to do Hawaii commerce a service, buy the book directly through the publisher, Watermark Publishing. Middle men are just so... last decade. (Just ask the folks at Borders.)

Greenleaf has earned some sort of respectable award in the beverage industry, as well as having appeared on the Food Network and Travel Channel (who at this point must be desperate for anyone but the tact- and style-less Guy Fieri and classless Adam Richman)