When you step into the Toasted Coconut—the new tiki bar from Nobie's owners Martin and Sara Stayer, set to open this summer at the former Maria Selma location on Richmond—order Sarah Troxell’s The Lost Word.
The drink is made with fresh-sugar-cane-derived rhum agricole, passion fruit liqueur, green chartreuse, and lime juice; served in a coupe glass; and garnished with a lime wedge, maraschino cherry, and paper umbrella. It carries a tart punch, earthy, grassy notes, and a subtle sweetness. Nothing overpowers.
Where should you sip this tropical, summery, beachy concoction, which we tried at Nobie’s ahead of the bar’s opening? How about outside in what Troxell, bartender extraordinaire and bar manager at Nobie’s and the Coconut, calls the adult sandbox? Sit back in a beach chair, close your eyes, and let your troubles drift away. When hunger sets in, order from the Caribbean– and Southeast Asian–inspired food menu, featuring dishes such as crispy rice salad and chile-garlic shrimp.
“The goal is to create a super-fun, escapist place,” says Troxell. “A beach vacation.”
While the bar will serve its share of Polynesian-style drinks straight from the Trader Vic’s playbook, including mai tais, of course, and flaming punch bowls for two, not everything will be rum-forward. The Merman, for example, is a coconut and passion fruit drink made with the Scandinavian spirit aquavit, of all things.
“We’re looking to bring different spirits to the party,” says Troxell, who will most certainly rock one of her many Hawaiian shirts while mixing up cocktails. “A lot of tiki cocktails obviously focus on rum and sugar-cane spirits, which I love. But bringing things like tequila and mezcal and gin and whiskey and brandy and your off-the-beaten-path spirits to a tropical, beachy environment is definitely something we’re excited to do.”
Whatever she’s mixing up, Troxell promises her concoctions will be balanced. “The most common phrase I hear at my bar is, ‘Can you make something that’s not too sweet?’” she says. “So, I’m looking to bring brightness and complexity and balance to tiki cocktails.” As for you? Just BYO sunscreen.