March 19 was a glamorous night in West Hollywood as Travaasa, a Denver based company that operates resorts & spas in Maui and Austin, hosted celebrities and media types like me on the succulent-lined back patio of Kinara Spa. To feed guests, they recruited Sang Yoon (Father’s Office, Lukshon) and to craft cocktails, they showcased affable free agent Matt Biancaniello, a man who’s never short on creativity.
For this particular event, Biancaniello turned to Hana and Hill Country for inspiration, preparing two exclusive drinks, my favorite being Floresta Pacifica. The vaunted market-driven barman started by infusing Hawaii’s Ocean Vodka with guava, a fruit that’s readily available on Maui. Since this is a drink designed for spa consumption, he seasoned blood orange juice with ginger, lime and agave, and added a playful touch with boba-like aloe vera balls, which shot through my oversized straw, providing textural contrast minus the off-putting skins that some spheres impart. If this ends up on the menu at Travaasa Hana, and it very well could, I could see ordering Floresta Pacificas in waves.