Trader Vic’s offers an island getaway in town

I absolutely loved going to Hawaii last year, mostly for the scenery, but also for the cocktails. Thankfully, I can get Tiki-style drinks in my own backyard at Trader Vic’s at the Hotel Valley Ho.


The island-themed restaurant is so freaking cute, with comfy lounge chairs and a patio with enough room for a band. There’s live music Thursday-Saturday nights, and local songstress Jeordie regularly belts it out on Friday’s. The patio’s so relaxing with its fireplaces and is a perfect spot to unwind.


But on to the drinks. This weekend, I tried the Trader Vic’s Passion Cocktail ($6.50). It was a sweet mix of gin, passion fruit nectar and lime. It was refreshing and, while I could feel the alcohol, tasted great.

Next, I had a Scottsdale Desert Bloom ($8.50), made with Pisco and prickly pear syrup. It was interesting garnished wiht a pineapple stem, and the prickly pear was really tasty.

Then I asked bar manager Joe for something strong and sweet (not that the other drinks were neither), and he recommended the Suffering Bastard ($9.50), basically a stronger version of a Mai Tai with three rums and fresh cucumber. His drink definitely did the trick in both taste and strength.

Finally, I tried a strawberry mojito ($9.00), since Trader Vic’s was named the 2009 Best Mojito by Phoenix New Times. I can see why the honor was given to them–the huge mojito was super-strong and had a generous portion of fresh mint.

I heard the spot is offering a new cotton candy mojito starting this week, and I’m super-stoked because I’ve never heard of a cocktail like this.

It’s probably the perfect complement to Trader Vic’s pumpkin crème brulée. The dessert was on special that night, and even though I’m not a huge pumpkin fan, I thought it was amazing. If you go, be sure to request  it.

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