A Delicious Spin on Holiday Entertaining

Hosting a party? Unwrap these tasty recipes, courtesy of The Mill House at Maui Tropical Plantation. They’re anything but run-of-the-mill!


Compiled by Becky Speere | Photography by Ryan Siphers

Our thanks to mixologist Dane Dostert for the drinks on these pages, and to chef Taylor Ponte for the pūpū.

holiday recipes

Mill House Irish Coffee

  • 1 oz. Teeling Irish Whiskey
  • ½ oz. Averna Amaro liqueur
  • 3–4 oz. French-pressed Mill House
  • medium-roast coffee
  • whipped cream to garnish

METHOD Pour all ingredients into a warmed glass or mug, and top with fresh whipped cream.

Round The Fire

  • 2 oz. El Dorado 15 Year Old Rum
  • 1 tsp. Smoked Citrus Syrup
  • (Recipe follows.)
  • ½ tsp. St. Elizabeth Allspice
  • Dram liqueur
  • 2 dashes Bittermens Tiki Bitters

METHOD Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice, stir 10 seconds, then strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube. Garnish with an orange twist.

Smoked Citrus Syrup

  • 7 oz. water
  • 3½ oz. gum arabic
  • 14 oz. sugar
  • peels from 3 oranges & 3 lemons

METHOD Blend water, gum arabic and sugar on high speed, pour into bowl and add citrus peels. Place bowl inside large metal pan along with a smoking kiawe-wood log, and carefully wrap the entire pan in aluminum foil to lock in smoke. Allow smoke to infuse syrup for 6 hours. Strain and bottle syrup; will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks.

St. George Terroir Last Word

  • ¾ oz. St. George Terroir Gin
  • ¾ oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • ¾ oz. Green Chartreuse Liqueur
  • ¾ oz. lime juice

METHOD Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake hard for 20 seconds, and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a Luxardo Maraschino Cherry and a mint leaf on a skewer.

Mill House Honey Ginger Hot Toddy

  • 1½ oz. Appleton Signature Rum
  • (a dry whiskey also works)
  • 1 oz. Honey Ginger Syrup 
  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • 4 oz. hot water

Add all ingredients to a warmed glass or mug and stir until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Garnish with a lemon slice floating in the cocktail.

Honey Ginger Syrup

  • 1 c. local honey
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 coarsely chopped ginger
  • 2 diced Hawaiian chilis
  • 1 tsp. Hawaiian salt

METHOD Combine all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, until reduced by about half. Fine strain and bottle; will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks.

Mulled Wine

  • 1 bottle of inexpensive red wine
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 6 whole cloves
  • ½ tsp. grated ginger root
  • ½ tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 5 pods cardamom, cracked
  • zest of one orange
  • ½ c. honey
  • ¼ c. brandy

METHOD Wrap the spices and citrus zest in a large piece of cheesecloth, approximately 12 inches square, tying a knot to seal the bundle. Place the spice sack in a pot, pour the wine into the pot and add the brandy. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. When the mixture is warm, stir in the honey. Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes while the flavors meld, stirring occasionally. Do not let the mulled wine boil. When liquid is steaming lightly, it is ready to serve. Ladle into warm mugs.

A version of this recipe appeared in Imbibe Magazine.


  • 1½ oz. coconut milk
  • ½ oz. orgeat
  • 1 oz. Bacardi Ocho Rum
  • ½ oz. Havana Club Blanco Rum
  • ½ oz. Smith & Cross Rum
  • ¼ tsp. each ground cinnamon &
  • ground nutmeg

METHOD Build ingredients in shaker and shake hard to mix all ingredients well. Pour into large rocks glass, add ice, and garnish with extra sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.

holiday recipes

Pumpkin Spiced Squash Cannoli

Yield: 20–30 cannoli, depending on size of wrapper
Prep time: 3 hours

  • 1 whole sweet squash, seeded
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 package of premade puff pastry (if frozen, defrost overnight in refrigerator)

METHOD Cut squash in half and dress with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake in 400° oven until tender, about 30–40 minutes. Scoop pulp and place in blender. Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, blend until smooth, then chill 1 hour. Form the puff pastry into cannoli shapes and fill with chilled squash purée. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes, or fry until puff pastry is golden brown.

Red Pepper Jam Canapé with Humboldt Fog Cheese & Fresh Basil on Hazelnut Cracker 

Yield:  approx. 5 cups
Prep time:
20 minutes, plus 1 hour to cool

  • 3 c. shishito pepper, rough chopped
  • 1 red onion, diced 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. white wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 c. sugar 
  • 1 c. water 
  • salt & pepper to taste

METHOD Sweat onion and garlic in a saucepan with olive oil; do not brown. Deglaze pan with white wine vinegar. Add remaining ingredients and reduce until the relish is thickened. Season to taste. Chill. Spread on crackers with Humboldt Fog cheese and garnish with a leaf of fresh basil (preferably tulsi or Thai).

Tis the Seasoned Pork Belly 

Yield: enough for a party
Prep time: 312 hours

Spice Rub

  • ¼ c. fennel seeds
  • ¼ c. ground coffee
  • 4 star anise pods
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 tsp. cloves
  • 1 c. salt
  • ⅔ c. sugar
  • 1 pork belly, whole
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3–4 qt. beef stock
  • 1 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic head, whole
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 sprig each thyme & rosemary

METHOD Grind the spice-rub ingredients together. Dry the pork belly and rub with spice rub. In a large pan, evenly brown pork belly on high heat with olive oil. Cover with beef stock and add herbs and vegetables. Simmer on the stove for 2 hours. Once pork is fork-tender, allow it to rest in juices for 1 hour.

Honey Brioche with Allspice Butter

Yield: 2 loaves
Prep time: 2 hours, plus rest period (6–24 hours)

  • 2½ tsp. active dry yeast
  • ⅓ c. milk, warmed to 100°
  • 3¾ c. all-purpose flour, divided,
  • plus more for kneading
  • 7 large eggs, divided
  • ⅓ c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ c. honey
  • 8 oz. unsalted butter, room temp.

Our thanks to mixologist Dane Dostert for the drinks on these pages, and to chef Taylor Ponte for the pūpū. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine yeast with warm milk; let stand a few minutes, until it turns bubbly. With the paddle mixer attachment, stir in 1 cup flour and 1 egg. Remove bowl from mixer and sprinkle 1 cup of flour over the mixture. Wrap with plastic. Let stand in a warm place 25–40 minutes, or until the surface of the flour has a cracked appearance.

Lightly beat 5 eggs. Switch to the dough hook on the stand mixer and add sugar, honey, salt, beaten eggs, and remaining 1¾ cup flour. Mix on low 1–2 minutes, increase speed to medium and mix for about 15 minutes, until the dough starts wrapping itself around the dough hook. Add more flour, a few teaspoons at a time as necessary, to coax the dough from the sides of mixing bowl. Turn mixer to low and add the butter, 2–3 tablespoons at a time. Increase speed to medium and beat dough for 3–4 minutes, again adding small amounts of flour as needed to coax the dough from the sides of the mixing bowl. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead it a few times by hand, and gather it into a ball. Place the ball in a large oiled bowl, turning it to grease both sides. Wrap bowl tightly with plastic and set in a warm place to rise until the dough doubles in size, about 2 hours.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a large baking sheet and sprinkle it generously with flour. Spread the dough out on the parchment, sprinkle it with more flour, cover with a sheet of parchment and a towel, and refrigerate at least 6 hours, or overnight.

Generously grease two large loaf pans (about 9”x5”x3”). Shape the chilled dough into two large loaves, cover each with a towel, and let them rise in a warm place for 1–2 hours, or until the dough reaches about 1 inch above the pans. Heat oven to 375°. Whisk together 1 egg and 2 teaspoons of water. Gently brush loaves with egg wash and bake 30–35 minutes, or until the loaves turn golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. (The internal temperature should register between 190° and 205°.)

Allspice Butter

  • 1 lb. unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. fresh nutmeg

METHOD Stir butter and fold in spices. Keep chilled until service. Bring to room temperature to serve.


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