The Po‘ipu Piña is pineapple greatness

Keoki’s Paradise Bamboo Bar & Café is an island institution after serving island locals and visitors for the past 26 years at the Po‘ipu Shopping Village.

In the past year the restaurant has reestablished its identity with an upgraded bar and a new line of specialty drinks that emphasize the aloha spirit and reflect island traditions.

The nightly entertainment continues with the best of local cultural and contemporary music.

The headline drink, in both its rum and non-alcoholic versions, is the visually pleasing and as delicious Po‘ipu Piña. Already nicknamed the South Shore Sip, it’s blended from fresh pineapple, mint leaves, passion fruit, coconut cream and optional Malibu coconut rum — served inside of the same hollowed pineapple.

Somehow the $13 price doesn’t seem so much when you experience the drink in this beautiful, friendly environment. The airy environment, sounds of the waterfalls and music, the sight of the lovely garden and the smell of the food add an extra something that makes the experience special.

“It’s a reminder of the good old days when pineapple drinks were everywhere,” said Manette DeCosta, the bar manager. “We use the whole pineapple.”

The specialty drink list also includes the Skinny Ginger Chi Chi, with the difference being a coconut vodka along with ginger liqueur, fresh lime and pineapple juice on the rocks. The list is rounded out with The Blue Thyme, Plantation Porch Tea, and Wrong Island Iced Tea.

DeCosta said they were looking to convey the island traditions with hand-crafted cocktails. The new line of tropical drinks came with the help of their distributor, in helping to define local island flavors.

Its a drink to match the feeling you get when entering the bar-restaurant, walking over a bridge next to a waterfall that leads to an open-air pond and garden. A winding stone path leads around the table areas to the palapa hair bar that sits below a raised timber roof.

The restaurant has already captured the feel of Kaua‘i’s lush gardens and waterfalls, and the drink menu  captures a sense of local history, of aloha, and its tradition of family-friendly community.

Maile Shklov, beverage manager, said Keoki’s has a passion for quality and service. She said kina‘ole means “to do the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, in the right place, to the right person, for the right reason, with the right feeling.”

The Island Traditions menu includes the Mai Tai, Frozen Mai Tai, Tai Chi, Piña Colada, Lava Flow, Tropical Itch and Mango Margarita. There is also a martini list and complete wine and beer menu.

Keoki’s Paradise is located at 2360 Kiahuna Plantation Drive in Koloa. For more information, call 742-7534 or visit www.keokisparadise.com.

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