Mushroom Buzz: Cocktail Recipe


Story by Becky Speere

murder hornet cocktailWhen challenged by Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi Magazine to design a mushroom cocktail, Jessica Everett, partner and mixologist at Esters Fair Prospect in Wailuku, created the Murder Hornet.

“It’s a Japanese-inspired Bees Knees,” says Everett, referencing the drink made famous in 1921 by the Ritz-Carlton in Paris. “It has a nice balance of sweet, tart, bitter and savory, and the maitake mushrooms don’t overshadow the other flavors.”

Also known as hen-of-the woods, maitake grow bouquet-like at the base of trees and have been used for centuries in Asian medicine. They offer a multitude of health compounds, including vitamin D for healthy bones and beta-glucan to improve heart health, boost immunity and prevent cancer.

The Maitake Honey Syrup mixed with lemon juice and ice water alone makes a great mocktail on a sultry Maui afternoon. But add Japanese Roku gin, with its natural botanicals, and bitters for a kick of savory spice, and you’ll be buzzing all day!

murder hornet cocktail

Murder Hornet
Cocktail Recipe

Makes 1 cocktail

  • 2 ounces Roku gin
  • 1 ounce fresh yuzu juice (or 50/50 lemon/lime juice)
  • 3/4 ounce Maitake Honey Syrup (See recipe.)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • handful ice


  • 1 tablespoon each sugar, salt and maitake mushroom powder*

Add ingredients to a shaker cup and shake until syrup is blended. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Mix together garnish ingredients and sift over top of cocktail.

Maitake Honey Syrup

  • ½ cup maitake mushrooms**      
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups honey          
  • pinch salt

Add ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Allow to cool then puree and refrigerate overnight. When ready to use, strain through a fine sieve. Have some left over? Add to marinades or salad dressings for variety.

*Look for maitake mushroom powder at Whole Foods in Kahului, or go to
**Buy fresh maitake mushrooms at your local Foodland supermarket.


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