June on Maui is a whirlwind month of food and drink. Back-to-back gala events from the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival to the Maui Film Festival Premier Parties make even the most effusive Maui foodies dig deep for strength. The Liquid Luxury party hosted by Better Brands Hawaii at the Ritz Carlton during the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival was a showcase of the creme de la creme of libation, but also an opportunity to broaden your luxury tastes. The party rolled out its second year celebration at the Ritz and exposed revelers to the finer beverages in life: Corzo Tequila, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Taittinger Champagne and Waiwera water.
The man behind the mix at Liquid Luxury, Joey Gottesman, explained the irrisistable Hibiscus and Ginger Essenced Corzo Cocktail he designed: “My inspiration was luxury, of course, but I also wanted to tie in a local feel which was the hibiscus, and use a surprise ingredient that was not usually associated with opulence, the tequila.” He crafted the drink with an amalgamation of hibiscus tea, fresh lime, orange bitters, ginger beer and Corzo tequila, rimmed with crushed dried hibiscus and salt. It was a new take on the margarita that was beautiful to look at, with its deep red tint, and refreshing to drink (check my post on MauiDish.com for the recipes). The classic “French 75” is a constant at Liquid Luxury, and the 1945 recipe gets an update Gottesman style with Bombay Sapphire, Taittinger, Waiwera, lemon and simple syrup.
The Taste of Wailea was the who’s who of Wailea fine dining and sell-out signature event at the Maui Film Festival. The menu was incredible—seafood, lamb, salad, greek, asian, american and desserts. The fine beverage spread somehow kept up, too. The wine table by Southern Wine and Spirits, the Ocean Vodka tent and the Stella Artois tent were serving extraordinary pairings to the tasty dishes. Ocean’s Vodka was particularly exhilarating with Watermelon Martinis with fresh watermelon, and the Lemon Blossom that featured fresh lavender. Bistro Molokini made an adult shave ice in mojito, Mai Tai and lava flow that were fresh, imaginative and just perfect to take the edge off the South Maui heat.
At Roy’s Bar and Grill in Kahana, Roy Yamaguchi celebrated 20 years at his West Maui location with two days of blow-out fun over the weekend. The party on Saturday night featured a special satellite bar serving sazeracs and champagne cocktails that were as classic as they were classy.
Roy also brought the guys from Hog Island Oyster Co. down from the Bay Area, with a table full of farmed oysters that was flanked by fans all evening long. Ed Kenney, owner and chef of the famed Town restaurant in Honolulu, had a pork-inspired station featuring pork roasted, cured and made into sausage. Is anyone full yet?