Story by Becky Speere
Cheeky monkey cheeky monkey cheeky monkey …
Say it quickly 10 times and you’ll sound like The Little Engine That Could.
The Cheeky Monkey was one of the first cocktails I came to relish at The Marlin Bar in Lahaina. However, on a recent visit to this oceanside tavern, I found it was missing from the menu, so I ordered a mai tai instead. As I sipped my second-favorite libation, I cast a glance around the bar and noticed a new hardback book leaning against a bar column — The Marlin Bar, Cocktails With Tommy Bahama. I flipped through its pages and there it was — the Cheeky Monkey!
Made with Monkey Shoulder Scotch, banana liqueur, almond/orange-scented orgeat syrup and a splash of lime juice, the Cheeky Monkey transports you to a lazy, gently swaying hammock on Gilligan’s Island. (A few too many will land you in a hammock, regardless!) Not a fan of monkey business? Peruse dozens more recipes from Tommy Bahama restaurants, such as the Sunburn — a shaken concoction of rum, jalapeño, passionfruit, lemon juice and elderflower liqueur — or the Hawaiian Fizz mocktail made with pineapple juice, Coco Lopez and soda water.
The book also offers a gamut of savory snack recipes such as poke nachos; asparagus-and-goat-cheese quesadillas topped with tomato jam and sour cream; and the Maui onion, bacon and chive dip served with potato chips, raw veggies, or pita-bread toast. A deeper dive into the chapters yields an essential-spirits guide, a section on beer and wine, and pairing suggestions for appetizers and drinks — including the Cheeky Monkey.
900 Front St., Lahaina | tommybahama.com/restaurants | 808.500.6204 | IG/FB @tommybahamarestaurant
Purchase The Marlin Bar, Cocktails With Tommy Bahama (Chronicle Books, 2021) at tommybahama.com or at any Tommy Bahama restaurant.
Cheeky Monkey Cocktail Recipe
Serving Size: Makes 1 cocktail
- 2 ounces blended Scotch, such as Monkey Shoulder
- 1 ounce orgeat syrup (See recipe below.)
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- ¾ ounce banana liqueur, such as Giffard Banane du Brésil
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 sprig mint, for garnish
Directions Add first 5 ingredients to a shaker cup with ice. Shake well, then strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Garnish with mint.
- Makes 1½ cups
- 1½ cups sliced almonds
- ¾ cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 drops orange-blossom water
Directions Preheat oven to 200 F. Spread almonds on a cookie sheet and toast until golden, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool, then crush in a large bowl. Add water and steep 3 hours. Strain through a cheesecloth, squeezing to extract liquid. To a saucepan, add almond liquid, sugar and orange-blossom water and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Store in refrigerator up to one month.