+ Happy Hour

Happy Hour: Bali Hai Will Call You

Years ago, my parents came to D.C. to visit me for the first time.  Desperate to take them to all the best restaurants, we made the long trek to Alexandria for the Restaurant Eve tasting menu.  One parking ticket, two detours, and a broken high heel shoe later, we arrived just in time to meet the restaurant’s mixologist, Todd Thrasher, for desperately needed cocktail (or four).  

Thrasher is a genius (we’ll try to forget about Signatures), a cocktail craftsman who makes his own grenadine, bitters and liquers.  Seriously, who makes their own grenadine?  From scratch?  An award winning bartender, that’s who.

The following cocktail is one of his recipes, so it’s a bit more work than our standard Happy Hour fare.  But it is most assuredly worth it.  I suggest you tuck this recipe away for the next time you have guests over cocktails and appetizers.  

Any woman can make a decent hors d’oeuvres, but how many can make a killer cocktail from scratch?  

And if this all still seems like a bit too much work for you, then just throw on the dress and head over to one of Thrasher’s establishments: Restaurant Eve, PX and The Majestic.  Cheers!

Prabal Gurung Ruched Side Detail Dress (ShopBop, $650)

My Tahitian Dream Cocktail



2 ounces Hibiscus-Vanilla Liqueur (see related recipe)

1/2 ounce vanilla simple syrup (see NOTE)

5 ounces sparkling wine, such as prosecco

Lemon wheel, for garnish


Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the hibiscus liqueur and vanilla simple syrup; shake well. Strain into champagne flute or coupe, then top with the sparkling wine. Garnish with the lemon wheel.

NOTE: To make vanilla simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 1 split vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract) in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a slow, rolling boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a glass container and let cool to room temperature; discard the vanilla bean. Cover tightly and refrigerate until chilled through; store indefinitely.

Trust me, this cocktail is as refreshing as a cool South Pacific breeze.


    leave a comment

  1. Dr. Jean Grey says:

    that dress is hawt

    July 16, 2010/Reply
  2. Michelle says:

    The Majestic (and his drinks) rock(s).

    July 17, 2010/Reply
  3. Shaina says:

    I’ve been a reading for awhile but haven’t commented before. My husband and I lived in Alexandria for three years before we moved away (um, to Indiana … le sigh). He took me to the tasting room at Restaurant Eve for my 26th birthday, and it was the most amazing meal of my life! The food and, yes, the cocktails! were so amazing. Two and a half years later, my mouth still waters to think about that meal. Thanks for posting this – and giving me such a happy memory!

    An FYI about how fabulous Restaurant Eve is – they made up a special menu that day that said “Shaina’s birthday” with the date, and sent me home with a birthday present that involved coffee, scone mix, and fresh irish butter. Best place ever!

    July 21, 2010/Reply