A shot of history in a glass

The Feral Pig: Pub and Diner Co-owner Dave Power has some stories to tell, especially when it comes to drinks.

And, if you notice the year and name listed next to the Harbor Mall restaurant’s drink menu and ask him about it, that’s exactly what he’ll do.

There is, for example, the $5 Hawaiian Bartender’s Handshake, a new twist on the traditional Mind Eraser drink, made from Coca-Cola, Fernet, Campari.

It was made up, Power said, one night between him and two buddies: Kyle Reutner, a co-owner of Hawaii Bitters Company, and Dave Newman, who opened up Pint + Jigger, a new gastropub, last year in McCully-Moiliili on Oahu.

“We were basically messing around and trying to make more bitter drinks for each other and somehow that one came up,” said Power, a former bar manager at Town Restaurant in Kaimuki on Oahu.

Even the off-the-menu $9 Mai Tai — made with Matusalem Gran Reserva Rum, Cruzan Black Strap rum, Cointreau Orange Liqueur and in-house almond horchata — closely follows the original 1944 receipe invented by the Trader Vic’s restaurant chain, Power said.

“In the category of cocktails, this is more like a margarita, because the only juice that’s in this is lime juice, there’s no pineapple, guava or any of that other stuff,” Power explained.

 “All of that came later as good rum became more expensive and cheap rum became the choice for tiki drinks — they ended up just putting more sugar into it and making it sweeter and sweeter.”

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