Cocktails Reimagined at Capische
The preparation of cocktails and enjoying them is changing. Going out for cocktails is just as much a farm to glass phenomenon following the dining trends and elevating the cocktail experience and culture. No longer a social-lubricating afterthought, they are used to stimulate the appetite, or as an aid in digestion.
Capische? in the Hotel Wailea is hands down one of the sexiest places on-island to sip a drink. It could be their intimate settting of only nine tables here. Or the breathtaking views of the ocean, sunset is glorious here. The restaurant’s old world charm is very european and alluring. Despite these attractions it is the passion in the kitchen and behind the bar that really heats things up here.
Brian Etheredge owner and Chef at Capische decided to revamp his cocktail program and brought on mixoligist Charlie Seibert to do the job. Etheredge met Seibert on a sojourn to Porte Vedra, Florida, at the Restaurant Medure. Gone were the outdated lemon drops and chocolate martinis, replaced by fresh fuits, housemaid mixes and fresh squeezed juices.
Seibert says, “The food and beverage industry is going through an evolution right now. I have focused on taking advantage of all of the fresh fruits you can get here year round.” Seiberts interest in cocktails developed years ago working in the restaurant industry cooking and managing. He recognized the potential for turning that passion for cooking into mixing behind the bar.
The martini menu at Capische reveals this passion through meticulously balanced cocktails and an array of premium spirits that are exactly on trend. “My philosophy is all fresh. Fresh juice, fresh sour, fresh herbs, nothing pre-made, no bottled syrups are used here. We make everything we serve here.”
In between shaking my refreshing cucumber citrus martini made from Square One vodka, St. Germain, muddled cucumber and handmade kaffir lime lemoncello, Seibert gives me a quick lesson on Scotch and finer points of their flavors. “I love scotch. It is a gentlemen’s drink,” He says. I sniff the difference between an Islay scotch (Laphroaig) and a highland scotch (Glenmorangie) and agree but I am here to check out the martini menu.
The “C” Lounge has fresh muddled strawberry and tarragon and Canton ginger liqueur. The watermelon mint is Van Gogh melon, Cinzano vermouth, and fresh mint. Poma passion features patron citronage, and passion fruit puree. The house martini list is sculpted, and unique. If you haven’t found your way up here yet to sample this list, it just got better. Capische is offering a happy hour that starts at 4:30 offering discounts on all martini’s, glasses of wine, cocktails, and beer. On Fridays and Saturdays the bar transforms into a piano bar with Mark Johnstone playing piano starting at 7pm.
I have my mind set on trying the Thai martini next time, its has a home made ginger and lemon grass green tea, Svedka Citron and coconut and cayenne. “Chef Brian breaks down recipes and recreates them in his own interpretation. My current goal is deconstructing the old fashioned. I am experimenting with bacon. I can’t tell you about the bourbon.” Seibert muses, “I am still working on it.”
His mention of bourbon piques my interest, and as grand finale Seibert makes me his Pear Manhattan. Its an elixir of J Vineyards pear liqueur, makers mark and sous vide apples. I am completely enamored by its well balanced flavor, dark brown glory, with tender apples just beneath my sipping reach. Like everything else on the menu it’s unique – and uniquely divine.
About Jen Russo
I write lifestyle and culinary columns for MauiTime. I love being a Maui girl and adore my big family. Dedicated food taster, blogger, internet fanatic, and Maui and Hawaii specialist.