POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, May 29, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 08:38 p.m. HST, Dec 18, 2013
Take two lively, socially responsible brothers, add some Hawaii-grown lemons, sugar and mint, and you've got a recipe for success — and some darned good lemonade.
Eleven-year-old Logan Hamasaki and his brother, 9-year-old Ethan, students at Star of the Sea, entered this year's Lemonade Alley competition April 27 at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, where their We‘Kea Lemonade won the hotel's For Kids, by Kids Award. Lemonade Alley teaches entrepreneurial skills and charitable giving.
A bonus: The boys' lemonade will be served at the hotel's SHOR American Seafood Grill for $4 a glass throughout June, with Lemonade Alley sending a portion of the proceeds to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, the youngsters' charity of choice.
Logan explained that the long road to coming up with an award-winning beverage involved variations of five basic recipes. That meant drinking a lot of lemonade, somewhere between 10 and 25 cups.
"We didn't always agree. Should we use lemon pulp? Concentrate? Different types of lemon?"
The process, which sometimes entailed loud debates, paid off when the boys decided on going all-local in their ingredients, using Meyer lemons, raw cane sugar and fresh mint.
"We were walking in a farmers market and saw all the plants and fruits, and we decided," Logan said. "Think about it: Who wants to eat lemons shipped from miles away just to get here? They'd be dry, sour and moldy."
For a while the brothers experimented with adding pulp and lemon zest, which tasted great but was too time-consuming to pull off.
Turns out, the absence of those touches didn't matter — Hyatt Waikiki judges knew pretty quickly the Hamasakis' concoction was their pick.
"Their lemonade really stood out because it featured all-natural products from Hawaii. When you use fresh ingredients like that, there's a quality boost you can really taste," said Vincent Brunetti, the hotel's food and beverage director.
The brothers' locavore agenda reflects the Hyatt chain's focus on healthful kids' fare. Through its "For Kids, by Kids" program, Hyatt offers an interactive menu that allows children to assemble their own meals and drinks from healthful ingredients.
Logan says he's glad the recipe will raise money for Kapiolani, but he admits it's also fun to have his lemonade in the restaurant.
"It'll be exciting to see our names on the menu," he said.
4 ounces water
4 teaspoons raw cane sugar
Juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon
4 mint leaves
Combine water and sugar; stir until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon juice and stir. Add mint and stir. Add ice cubes and serve. Serves 1.
Nutritional information unavailable.