Orinda’s Boo Loo Lounge Now Serving Bar Bites

Had a great time in downtown Orinda to revisit the Boo Loo Lounge for the first time in a couple months. The strong bar program is still going strong with a menu of a dozen or so cocktails. This little bar next to the Orinda Theater is now serving a selection of fryer style bar bites, similar to Forbidden Island in Alameda. Don’t expect these to be gourmet but may hit the spot if you’re trying to stay in the venue longer. There are several nearby restaurants if like us you want to work off your buzz with a full service dining option.

Coconut Shrimp with Mai Tai in mug brought by the author

The Mai Tai’s orange liqueur has been switched to the Hamilton Petite Canne Shrubb, a Rhum Agricole-based liqueur. Along with a rum base that includes Rhum Agricole I found this to lean too far in the grassy flavor profile. Regular readers may remember that Smuggler’s Cove briefly used this liqueur in their Mai Tais, with similar not great results. Feedback was provided, with DeKuyper suggested as an alternative in a similar cost range.

Thankfully, the Hurricane I had was truly fantastic, a wild blend of Fassionola, juices, and rum. This cocktail met the high expectations I’ve grown accustomed to at the Boo Loo Lounge. Similarly, Mrs. Mai Tai’s Lady of Singapore and Saturn were excellent.


The crowd was having a great time, as we were with our friends. Boo Loo Lounge is so small they’ll really benefit from sunny skies and the use of their patio seating out front. By layering on bar bites onto the small venue with modest staffing, I wonder if they’re biting off more than they can chew but there’s nothing wrong with trying something to see how it goes. I hear there are plans for something else new to whet the appetite of guests, coming soon – so stay tuned.

DeKuyper Orange Curacao

Years ago, this was the Orange Curacao I started using for Mai Tais and other cocktails. The brand doesn’t have a great rep in the craft cocktail community, and the cheap price is not a sign that this is a premium spirit. DeKuyper is 30% ABV and made from orange, lemon, and curacao fruit. Plus coloring, I’m sure.

Tasting this neat, I felt that this was lacking character but in a Mai Tai it actually works perfectly well. It doesn’t add any unpleasant flavors, and in a blind taste test against my preferred Ferrand Dry Curacao I had a very difficult time choosing a favorite. In fact, both times when I split hairs to declare a victor the Mai Tai I chose was the one with DeKuyper. More taste comparisons to come.

I do prefer my Orange Curacao to have a higher ABV, so DeKuyper being only 30% means it won’t be my recommended brand. But if you’re looking to send $11 for a bottle rather than $28, this doesn’t seem to be a bad option.