Drink of the Week: Kalani’s Royal Hawaiian
In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one unique type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try at one of the countless breweries, bars and restaurants from around the basin.
The name Royal Hawaiian sounds so regal you can just picture King Kamehameha taking a few of these down at his backyard BBQ. Lucky for us, we can just go down the street to Kalani’s.
When you have a drink that includes Hawaii in its name, you have to assume it’s going to give you some island vibes, right? Well, no spoiler alert here, this drink does that and a lot more, starting with pineapple and lemon juices.
It’s there where the swell starts, adding in orgeat syrup and topping off with Empress gin and crushed ice, forming a wave of flavor that puts you right in the barrel and lets you ride the tube until it breaks. If that’s too much surf talk for you young groms, then you might need to stick to SUP.
Before we go into full flavor mode, let’s touch on the look of this cocktail because it’s coming at you with its bright lights flashing. The purple gin and juices dancing inside the glass are like a mash-up of a guitar solo at a luau.
They mix it up giving you a nice tart sweetness from the citrus, but mellowed out perfectly by the softness of the gin. Then comes the rogue wave of the bunch — the orgeat syrup.
The almond-based syrup boxes out the other ingredients to help it finish with mix of earthy-sweet that stays on the tongue. You don’t know exactly what you’re tasting at that point, but trust me, it’s that orgeat that sends it to a place of sand and shenanigans.
Although, the nuttiness of the syrup cuts through just enough that it manages to bridge the seasons perfectly – it’s great for summer or fall. Well, who am I kidding, any season is good — just look for the perfect set.
Kalani’s is located at 1001 Heavenly Village Way, Suite 26 in South Lake Tahoe. For hours and menu items, visit them online at kalanis.com or by phone at 530-544-6100.
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