By Alison Bailin Batz / Photo by Jenelle Bonifield
This month, Hula’s Modern Tiki Phoenix moved to an all-new space – a stylishly revamped midcentury modern building on 7th Street just north of Camelback Road. The new location boasts a sweeping dog-friendly patio; 40-person private dining room; larger main dining room; and a second (and semi-secret) tiki bar called the “Captain’s Cabin,” which has its own entry.
“To celebrate, we had to do something special with our drink menu,” says owner M. Dana Mule. “As such, we’ve launched rum flights for the first time as well as a specialty ‘Uku Nui’ menu.”
Hawaiian for “premium,” the Uku Nui menu features six gourmet tiki cocktails – each offered at $11 – all hand-shaken with fresh-squeezed juices and housemade bitters and syrups.
“A tribute to Pele, who is the Hawaiian Goddess of fire, lightning, wind as well as the creator of the islands, Pele’s Punch is the most complex and unique of our new premium cocktails, mixing white and dark rums with a citrus-spiked liqueur and rarities like Velvet Falernum and Firewater bitters,” Mule explains.
Velvet Falernum is a sweet syrup used in Caribbean and tropical drinks – especially those with rum. It contains flavors of almond, ginger, lime, and sometimes vanilla, cloves and allspice. Firewater bitters also add to the kick of the cocktail, mostly from the habanero peppers, which are the main ingredient.
Pele’s Punch is served in a tiki mug and garnished with a habanero pepper, lime wheel and a spiky pineapple frond.
“It’s a warming, spicy drink worthy of its namesake, [who is] rumored to still reside in a Hawaiian volcano,” Mule says.
Hula’s Modern Tiki, 5114 N. 7th St., Phoenix; 602.265.8454; www.hulasmoderntiki.com.