The secret ingredients to trendy drinks: Seasonal fruits

Kalapaki Joe’s in Po‘ipu offers something special: Seasonal drinks that are one of a kind, delicious and affordable.

The abundance of fruits Kaua‘i has to offer is a treasure chest for cocktail connoisseurs.

“We like to use fresh, local fruit products,” emphasized Jody Valante, owner of Kalapaki Joe’s. “Currently in season, we have tropical lychee coolers, Rockstar coolers with lemongrass, mango mai tais, frozen fresh mango margaritas and mango mojitos all priced at $8.”

Seasonal drinks are a new concept at Kalapaki Joe’s. Valante said they started serving these drinks just three months ago.

“We are now really starting to get more involved with this project since summer is on its way,” Valante said. “One thing to be on the look out for is lilikoi — I see a lot of them out there, but they’re still green, so give it about a month or so and we’ll start serving fresh lilikoi drinks.”   

Valante presented a special drink, one that he created himself. While walking on Pu‘u Road in Kalaheo, he noticed some ripe guava hanging on a branch, waiting to be eaten. It dawned on him to combine freshly picked guava with home-grown Thai basil and mix it into a drink. Thus, the Kalaheo Guava and Basil Cooler or Martini was born.

The Kalaheo Guava and Basil Cooler or Martini, priced at $8, is smooth and sweet. The Thai basil, guava and simple syrup immediately engulfs the taste buds and, just so slightly, conceals the taste of Hendrick’s premium gin. If I didn’t watch Valante pour the gin himself, I would have thought it to be a virgin drink.

Kalapaki Joe’s is located at 1941 Po’ipu Rd. in Po‘ipu and is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 7 to 11 p.m. on weekends. Its kitchen closes at 10 p.m. daily. Check out Kalapaki Joe’s for televised sports and UFC events when available. For more information call (808) 742-6366 or visit its website at

Kalaheo Guava and Basil Cooler or Martini

1.5 ounce Hendrick’s premium Scottish gin

1 ounce fresh lime juice

2 large leaves of fresh hand-picked Kaua’i Thai basil

3 silver dollar-sized slices of fresh ripe tropical guava or Brazilian guava

2 ounces of simple syrup (two parts sugar and one part water)


1. Combine all in a pint glass over ice.

2. Shake (bruise) five times.

3. Fill remaining glass with ice.

4. Strain in 10 ounce chilled martini glass or serve over ice in a 12-ounce pilsner glass.

5. Top off with Sprite (lemon/lime soda).


Fresh basil flower, fresh sliced limes and guava.


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