There’s a lot more to Hawaii cocktails than the Blue Hawaii. While a classic, for sure, the creativity in the adult drink department has gone above and beyond this creme of coconut concoction.

And come February, cocktails especially evolved in the Pacific will be recognized during the inaugural Hawaii Cocktail Week. It’s already sending a nice buzz across the world – several months prior – as cocktail enthusiasts and talent from the U.S., Japan and Australia will be in town for the celebration. Our very own Hawaii Aloha Travel will be the official travel company!

Imagine sipping on one of these tasty mixtures, the sun setting below the horizon and the skies aglow with soft hues of pinks and golds. The sounds of gentle rolling waves calm your nerves just as much as the refreshing slushy drink slipping down your throat. It’s a Hawaii that everyone dreams of one day experiencing. The cocktail event celebrates this fantasy for an entire week. Now, that’s a party.

MIke Prasad, co-founder of Hawaii Bitters Company, is the brains behind it all. As a cocktail enthusiast and cocktail competition judge, there’s no question that he’s a specialist when it comes to bitters. And as a chemist, Mike knows all the right mixtures to handcrafting cocktail bitters from local ingredients.

While details for the event are still in the works, Mike and the team have released the list of participating venues and tentative schedule so far. A street party in Kakaako will kickoff the event and feature a craft cocktail bar, music, food and vendors. And of course, it isn’t a true Hawaiian cocktail unless it’s poolside! Local talent will battle one guest bartender as they whip up poolside party drinks.

For those really in the spirit of spirits, the Hawaii Cocktail Week will also be getting book-smart with a cocktail workshop hosted by Kyle Reutner of Hawaii Bitters Company. Cheers!

HAWAII COCKTAIL WEEK • Feb. 16-23, 2013 on Oahu • For tickets and more info, www.hawaiicocktailweek.com

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