July 20, 2018

Tiki Time at Lynn’s Hula Hut

Behind the scenes with Lynn’s Hula Hut in Montauk and its mindful mixology.
Photo by Karen Wise

By Julia Szabo

You’ll never see a maraschino cherry at Lynn’s Hula Hut, the bamboo boîte that’s a Montauk mainstay. “Fresh is best and less is more, that’s always been my philosophy,” says owner and “bar chef” Lynn Calvo, author of the intoxicating tropical-cocktail recipe book Tiki With a Twist (Sterling Epicure, 2016). Concocting exquisite elixirs (“Hula Juice” has rum infused with secret ingredients) and shunning refined sugar in favor of syrups made from scratch with “indigenous, local Hamptons honey” or agave, Calvo insists on organic, house-pureed produce and herbs clipped from the Hut’s own backyard.

Photo by Karen Wise

With garden-fresh garnishes (pineapple wedges, rosemary sprigs, edible flowers), libations resemble sexy smoothies, enabling drinkers to detox and intox simultaneously. The Spa Cocktail combines Tito’s Handmade Vodka with an array of antioxidants: lemon water and cucumber puree (to help flush the liver), plus watermelon puree, fresh mint, cilantro, and Thai basil (an adaptogen). Just remember to pace yourself: “Our drinks are so well-balanced and smooth, they can go down kind of quickly,” Calvo cautions. If you enjoy one too many (easy to do at Hula Hut’s weekend make-your-own bloody mary bar, which opens in July with condiments that include an addictive Bangkok peanut sauce), take coconut water—neat—for some healthy hair-of-the-dog. Says Calvo, “We make a lot of cocktails with coconut water; it’s so hydrating and good for you.” And if you’re abstaining from alcohol (but don’t need everyone to know), the Hut’s happy to accommodate, with virgin drinks every bit as festive-looking as their spiked counterparts, down to the pretty paper umbrella. 426 W Lake Dr., Montauk; lynnshulahut.net