I have been feeling a bit guilty for not talking to my mom on her birthday.  Now before you start judging me, I did try to call her, and I have a card and gift for when I see her in a few days, but I still feel like I should do something to make up for not actually talking to her or seeing her on her birthday.  So, I thought I would make a drink up just for her.

Unlike, my dad, she is not much of a drinker.  There are only two drinks I know she likes:  very sweet white wine and Captain and Coke.  Not exactly two drinks you can mix or alter, but then it hit me.  Sangria!  It is perfect for summer time too, it is the perfect drink to serve at a BBQ or while camping, or just to sip on at the beach.



1 bottle of sweet white wine (semillion or moscato works best)

½ a pineapple cut into chunks without rind

2 small granny smith apples cut into chunks without core

1 mango cut into chunks without skin

1 orange cut into chunks with rind

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup sugar

½ cup spiced rum

3 cups Sprite or other citrus soda of your choice

Add all the chopped fruit to a pitcher and pour the lemon juice over.  This is to prevent the fruit from turning brown so make sure it coats all the fruit well.  Add sugar and rum and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Add the bottle of wine and stir until everything is combined.  Let it set for at least an hour.  Once you are ready to serve add ice and soda.


By Krystle Turkington


Happy Hour Pal is available for Android and iPhone and support Hawaii, Portland, and The Hamptons!


The fountain of youth


The Beverly Hillbillies loved their moonshine.  Miss Jane was the first to state that moonshine is the fountain of youth, and granny called her shine a cure all.   Since then there have been numerous accounts of “moonshine medicine” helping folks stay healthy and limber, such as, South Carolina farmer Perry or some of the Moonshiners’ forum writers.


Moonshine isn’t the only thing with infamous health benefits.  I think almost everyone knows the phrase an apple a day keeps the doctor away.  So, I got a brilliant idea to combine the fountain of youth with apples to keep the doctor away.  I have two recipes to stay healthy, limber, and young while still catching a buzz.


1 ½ oz moonshine (nothing too smoky or flavored)

½ oz vanilla simple syrup

¼ oz all spice dram

Apple juice

Splash cranberry juice

To make the vanilla simple syrup you will need a vanilla bean, vanilla extract, sugar, and water.  One vanilla bean will make up to one cup of simple syrup.  Add equal parts water and sugar (no more than one cup) to a pot over medium high heat.  Once the sugar is dissolved and the vanilla extract and the vanilla bean cut in half lengthwise.  Let it simmer for about five minutes and then remove from heat.  Once it is cooled remove the bean and scrap all the vanilla from the inside.  If it gets clumped in the syrup just shake well in a sealed container.

Add all the ingredients to a shaker with ice.  Use more apple juice than, almost a 3:1 ratio.  Pour into a glass and enjoy.  If you would like to garnish this, I recommend an apple slice.

Apples a la mode

1 ½ oz moonshine (nothing too smoky or flavored)

½ oz vanilla simple syrup

¼ oz all spice dram

Slice of leftover apple pie

A la mode is a French phrase that translates to “of the world.” So, although this recipe doesn’t include ice cream it is most definitely going to be a favorite way to consume your leftover apple pie.

Put all the ingredients into a blender.  Once smooth pour into a glass and enjoy.  I like to serve this with a wedge of cheddar cheese on the rim.  The salty cheese is a nice contrast to the sweet drink, and in some parts of America apple pie is served with cheddar cheese.

By Krystle Turkington for Happy Hour Pal


Happy Hour Pal is available for Android and iPhone and support Hawaii, Portland, and The Hamptons!

Meet Social Media Club Pro: Carey Bennett of @HappyHourPal

Membership Monday: Meet SMCHI Pro, Carey Bennett


Our Pro membership is comprised of digital professionals, innovators, and leaders from a wide array of (some unexpected) disciplines. To showcase this diversity, each month we’ll introduce you to one of our Pro members and share their insights on social media. Are you a SMCHI Pro interested to be profiled in a future month? Contact Jen Barrett to learn more.


Carey is the co-founder and CEO of Happy Hour Pal (formerly Happy Hour Hawai‘i). Together with her husband Brandon, they built every aspect of the business from programming the website/apps and marketing the products, to building relationships with participating businesses.

Happy Hour Pal is a mobile and online guide to all things happy hour! The free GPS-based app provides up-to-date happy hour information straight from your (soon-to-be) favorite watering hole. Happy Hour Pal is managed by participating establishments to provide accurate happy hour menus, daily specials, maps, basic information, and rewards.

Q: How are you currently using social media in your job?

Happy Hour Pal APP LOGO

Social media plays a huge role in spreading the word about Happy Hour Pal. We receive most of our users through word of mouth. The best way to spread the word is through social media! We are active in Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and WordPress, and use Hootsuite to schedule and manage all of our platforms. We currently have over 7,500 followers across our social networks.

Q: Describe a social media challenge and how you overcome it.

Platform changes have been an adjustment for us. A year ago, the “filters” for Facebook Pages were not in place. Pricing for advertising was much more affordable per click, and most of our content reached our followers organically.

Facebook has dramatically limited the reach of Page posts to entice businesses to participate in its advertising program, which now includes a “pay per post” option designed to maximize reach. Pricing can be in the $30 range per post, which is financially straining for small businesses and startups.

We have pivoted to Twitter and other means of reaching out, including Google+ and our WordPress blog. We have also re-evaluated and strengthened our Facebook content as well as optimized the number of daily posts to keep our fans’ attention.

Q: What’s one social media tool or platform you couldn’t live without?

I love different platforms for different reasons. For social media organization, my #1 is Hootsuite!

Q: Name a mistake businesses make with social media.

“White Noise Posts” Writing content-heavy posts with no visual element, especially on Facebook. As a fan of many pages, I realized that I was only reading posts with interesting images. My eyes would first see the photo and second read the content. No matter how long the content, I read it because the visual grabbed my attention. Beautiful, artistic, or fun content-relevant visuals go a long way.

Q: Can you name a local example of a successful use of social media?

Roberta Oaks is a small local boutique downtown near my home. When the owner posts, she pairs a beautiful image of her handmade products. The images are so gorgeous, that I have sent a FB message asking if she would please hold an item for me (and I have seen other fans do the same). She easily creates sales on Facebook and Instagram while keeping her beautiful designs fresh in a fan’s memory (can you tell I am a fan?). Fantastic!

I also love reading posts from @Melissa808 on Twitter and Instagram, she is always doing something fun! She does a great job spreading the word about local products and restaurants throughout the state in a fun way!

Q: What exciting initiatives are you working on and can share with us?

We are continuously updating our products, creating and adding new features, and expanding to more locations! Stay Tuned :)

Q: What emerging social media networks or tools are you monitoring most closely?

Vine and social magazine app Flipboard.

Q: What do you do offline to help you stay current and connected online?

Entrepreneur Magazine and Fortune Magazine are my go-to reads when I am not online. I also attend conferences, meet-ups, and events.

Q: What made you join Social Media Club Hawai‘i?

I wanted to learn from the best! I love learning tips and tricks for my current social media platforms, as well as finding out more information about platforms that I am less familiar with. A pro membership also offers excellent networking opportunities!

Are you a SMCHI Pro interested to be profiled in a future edition of Membership Monday? Contact Jen Barrett to learn more.

About Jen Barrett
Jen is a self-professed do-gooder and jane-of-all-trades. Her current focus is helping nonprofits and community-minded businesses harness the power of the social web for social good through her company Taming Tech For Good. Connect with her via

Bytemarks Cafe via Hawaii Public Radio: Episode 253: Founder Institute – June 19, 2013

Episode 253: Founder Institute – June 19, 2013

June 19th, 2013 | Podcasts


First we’ll look at the latest tech news and happenings in Hawaii and beyond. Then joining us today is Carey & Brandon Bennett from Happy Hour Hawaii to tell us about their nation wide rollout. Finally, we find out from Russel Cheng about the Honolulu chapter of theFounder Institute and how it’s helping to build the entrepreneurial startup ecosystem.

Download MP3 | Subscribe in iTunes

Follow Us on Twitter: @russelcheng @hawaii @bytemarks @HappyHourPal @HappyHourPalHI @carey_bennett @yarbo808

Best New App for Socialites on a Budget: Happy Hour Pal


Best New App for Socialites on a Budget: Happy Hour Pal

Happy Hour Pal

Fellow socialites on a budget, I have found the holy grail: Happy Hour Pal!  Happy Hour Hawaii has redirected and upgraded to a national website Happy Hour Pal, and also launched an app in May 2013.  For those like me on the go, this super-duper easy to use app has taken the guess work out of going to happy hour.

Happy Hour Pal

Instead of showing up to a restaurant with your fingers crossed that there will be more than just fries and Bud Light on tap for happy hour, this business-managed website and GPS-based mobile application will helps users find happy hour information, including menus, daily specials, basic business information, maps, GPS-based directions, check-in rewards, and more.

I am loving this new free app, especially the updated food and drink menus and detailed day of the week specials.  Happy Hour Pal even offers rewards! Each time you check into a Happy Hour Pal business you receive one reward point, and if you earn 10 points you can redeem them for a $10 discount at participating locations!

Happy Hour Pal currently has just about 100 participating businesses through out all of Hawaii, concentrated in Waikiki and Honolulu such as Bar 35, M Nightclub, and RumFire.  The website and app is quickly growing in popularity and has even entered Portland, Oregon and Long Island, New York with plans to expand to additional mainland cities.

Happy Hour Pal, Carey & Brandon Bennett

I had the pleasure of meeting co-founder and CEO of Happy Hour Pal Carey Bennett.  She and her husband Brandon live in Honolulu and created Happy Hour Hawaii & Happy Hour Pal from scratch.  This power couple is young, super smart, and works tirelessly to perfect their online company.

I am not only a fan of the Happy Hour Pal app, but also an admirer of young local entrepreneurs like Carey and Brandon who follow their dreams and  really just work so damn hard! Congrats to the Bennetts on Happy Hour Pal, and you can bet you’ll see me around town at a happy hour near you!

Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day is tomorrow, June 16th!  Unlike Mother’s Day, you can’t just buy your Dad flowers and chocolates.  The trend nowadays seems to be to make him something personalized.  There are hundreds of websites dedicated to showing young kids how to make something for their dad that he can use almost every day, such as and  For those of us outside of grade school though, a personalized gift for dad can be a daunting task.

Let me use my dad as an example.  He is an enigma to me.  He is a gun slinging, confederate flag waving, moonshine loving redneck.  Now when anyone hears this they assume my father is a born and bred Southern, but that is not the case.  My dad was originally from North, he can talk like a New Englander, and he has a half Puerto Rican daughter.  So, like I originally said, he is an enigma to me.  I know he loves hunting, fishing, and playing in his band, which only plays two kinds of music:  country and western.  So, if you think your dad is hard to personalize a gift for, I feel your pain.


Thanks to the Boardwalk Empire, Moonshiners, and the progression from pre-prohibition to prohibition cocktails, though, I have developed a new and great plan that can work for almost any dad.  After taking him to enjoy his favorite activity, whether it is golf, watching the ball game, or fishing, you can surprise him with a signature cocktail inspired by him and named after him.


Moonshine is now being mass distributed in several states such as Kentucky, Tennessee, Connecticut, and Hawaii.  It is now considered a trendy and hip liquor, so it can be enjoyed by more than just my pops.  I have listed three various recipe ideas based on personal style.

Old School:  Inspired by the Bees Knees

bees knees

2oz moonshine

¾ oz honey syrup

½ oz lemon juice

¾ oz orange juice

To make the honey syrup, take equal parts honey and warm water.  Put them in a sealed contained and shake until the color and consistency is uniform.

Add all the ingredients to a shaker with ice.  Shake until very cold and strain into a martini glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist.  This drink is best made with fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice.  If you use a bottled orange juice make sure it is not calcium fortified.  This will give the cocktail and chalky taste.

For the sweet at heart


2 oz moonshine

¾ oz vanilla simple syrup

½ oz orange juice

1 oz pineapple juice

To make the vanilla simple syrup you will need vanilla extract, a vanilla bean, sugar, and water.  One vanilla bean will make up to a cup of simple syrup.  Split the vanilla bean in half and add to a pot with equal parts water and sugar.  When it starts to simmer add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and simmer for about five minutes.  Remove from heat and cool.  Before you toss the vanilla bean, scrap the remaining black specks from the bean pod.  If it gets clumped just put in a sealed container and shake until the clumps break apart.

Add all the ingredients to a shaker with ice.  After everything is mixed pour into a highball glass and garnish with a pineapple or orange slice.

For the wild and crazy


This applies to my dad so I’ve called this the Tommy Bomb

1 oz moonshine

Energy drink of choice, his favorite is Mountain Dew

Drop the moonshine into the energy drink like any bomb shot, and chug.

Have a great Father’s Day everyone!

By Krystle Turkington


Cheers to Candy Month!

Every month has a slew of abstract and unknown holidays.  For instance, every November 3rd is Sandwich Day and November is National Model Railroad Month.  Can anyone honestly claim they celebrate either of those?  June is no exception either.


June is Candy Month, and today, June 8th, is Best Friends’ Day (  Unlike sandwich day and model railroads, though, candy and best friends go together like two peas in a pod.  It is no surprise that when someone says candy most people think chocolate, and based on annual sales if chocolate had a best friend it would be peanut butter.  Reese’s peanut butter cups are ranked second behind M&M’s milk chocolate (  So, what’s a better way to celebrate both of these abstract holidays than to make a Peanut Butter Cup Martini?


Here’s the recipe:

1 oz vanilla vodka

½ oz Kahlua

½ oz white crème de cocoa

1 oz godiva chocolate liquor

¾ oz peanut butter simple syrup

Splash of milk/cream

Chocolate syrup

Reese’s peanut butter cup

To make the peanut butter simple syrup mix equal parts sugar and water over medium high heat.  When they start to dissolve add a glob of peanut butter and melt it down.  Once it is thoroughly mixed and begins to bubble remove from heat and cool.

Take a martini glass and swirl with chocolate syrup.  Depending on the size of your Reese’s either skewer or place on the rim.  Add remaining ingredients to a shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into your prepared martini glass.

By Krystle Turkington