Makalapa

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Cocktail History

The Makalapa is a modern cocktail that was created by Lynnette Marrero at Llama Inn in New York City, New York. Named for a neighborhood on a crater lake in Honolulu, the recipe calls for a simple mixture of spiced rum, grapefruit, lime, and a hibiscus honey syrup made as a nod to Hawaii’s state flower. It then tops it all off with bubbly soda water for a refreshing twist.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Demerara Rum: This is a type of rum made in Guyana with sugarcane, spices, and water that has been barrel aged. We used Coruba Dark Jamaican Rum because it has a rich, spiced flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the rum.

Hibiscus Honey Syrup: This is a sweetener made with hibiscus tea and honey. We made ours at home using Alex’s stovetop recipe.

Grapefruit Juice: This is the liquid juice of a grapefruit. We used freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.

Lime Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lime. We used freshly squeezed lime juice.

Soda Water: This is a type of water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure. We used Topo Chico Sparkling Mineral Water because it’s light, essentially flavorless, and refreshing.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Tasting Notes

The Makalapa starts with the prominent aromas funky rum and citrus, continues with a flavor that combines the rum’s grassy notes with the sweetness of honey, floridness of hibiscus, and tanginess of grapefruit, and ends with more rum and floral notes on the finish.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: For the first time in a while, we were 100% aligned on how tasty this tropical cocktail was! We both especially loved the addition of the tart tea-based syrup and are already dreaming up ways we can use it again in more than just the Makalapa.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This is an odd drink, at least in its combination of ingredients; once in the glass, it’s pretty dang great though. The extra funky rum we used was great, albeit powerful, and it complemented the synergy that the honey, hibiscus, and grapefruit created. The hibiscus and honey syrup showed up once again on the finish, which for me was an unexpected double duty for the slightly complex syrup, and the interesting addition of soda water atop the up glass gave it a lightness that I think it benefitted from greatly.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“If you’re in the mood for a drink that highlights your rum’s unique flavor while thinking outside of the box, this cocktail is it. You see grapefruit used in a lot of tropical recipes, but the introduction of hibiscus and honey really push this one to a tangy and interesting new level. I personally liked the Makalapa a lot and could see myself sipping it during the summertime. The top-off of soda water makes it extra refreshing for those warm days.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes by Chloe Frechette.

Sale
Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes
Easy Tiki: A Modern Revival with 60 Recipes
Hardcover Book; Frechette, Chloe (Author); English (Publication Language); 176 Pages – 05/12/2020 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$11.39 Amazon Prime

AuthorEasy Tiki

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Demerara Rum
 1 oz Hibiscus Honey Syrup
 ½ oz Grapefruit Juice
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Soda Water

Method
1

Add rum, hibiscus honey syrup, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and cubed ice to shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Top with soda water.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Demerara Rum
 1 oz Hibiscus Honey Syrup
 ½ oz Grapefruit Juice
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 ½ oz Soda Water

Directions

Method
1

Add rum, hibiscus honey syrup, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and cubed ice to shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Top with soda water.

Makalapa

Make It a Mocktail: Use Caleño Non-Alcoholic Dark & Spicy Tropical Spirit in place of the rum to try a booze-free version of this drink.

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More Tiki Cocktails

If you like this tiki-inspired cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Wishful Thinking Cocktail Recipe

Wishful Thinking: A sloe gin and rhum agricole cocktail made with ginger syrup, lime juice, absinthe, Angostura aromatic bitters, and a mint sprig

Tia Mia Cocktail Recipe

Tia Mia: A mezcal and rum cocktail made with lime juice, orange curaçao, orgeat syrup, a lime wheel, a mint sprig, and an orchid blossom

Junior Colada Cocktail Recipe

Junior Colada: A pineapple rum cocktail made with coconut liqueur, pineapple juice, lime juice, coconut soda, and pineapple fronds

Caribe Daiquiri Cocktail Recipe

Caribe Daiquiri: A rum cocktail made with pineapple juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and a lime slice

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