Haiku, the swanky sushi spot near Drake University, offers a drink menu almost as long as its sushi menu.
Specialty cocktails, martinis, wine and a substantial beer list will satisfy any drink personality, and regulars flock to the bar for nightly specials, including $5 martinis on Friday and Saturday.
General manager Ken Lin showed us how Haiku makes The Cantaloupe, a summer cocktail made with summer flavors. He starts by filling a tall glass with ice, then adds about one and a half ounces of Svedka citron vodka, a half ounce of watermelon pucker schnapps, and a half ounce of apple pucker schnapps. Then he tops the glass with two ounces of orange juice. He skewers an orange slice between two maraschino cherries as a garnish, and tops the drink with a paper umbrella, proclaiming its summer worthiness.
The watermelon and apple pucker schnapps stay separate from the orange juice, resulting in a drink that looks a bit like a lava lamp. After a quick stir, the pinkish-orange drink resembles the melon it’s named after, but the taste is quite different.
The cocktail is sour at first from the apple pucker and citron, then balanced by the smooth acidity of the orange juice. It isn’t as sweet as you’d expect, but that’s OK. A sour drink is more refreshing during hot months, making The Cantaloupe a perfect sipper that’s good to the last drop.
Find it: Haiku, 1315 31st St.
Cost: $6 (or $5 on Thursday)