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Indian summer in a glass 

It may be the season for heady red wines, deep amber whiskey and manly scotch. But with the recent heat wave bringing October temperatures into the 80s, the last thing a girl craves are autumn's warming beverages. So I hightailed it to Buckhead's Hawaiian-fusion restaurant Roy's, where the bar promises an assortment of island-inspired specialty cocktails.

If "island-inspired" has you thinking of umbrellas and sticky-sweet drinks, think again. Located on the bottom floor of a Buckhead office tower, Roy's is a swanky joint that glows from recessed lighting and amber wood rather than tiki torches and Technicolor paper lanterns. The restaurant's lounge offers a complete menu of its upscale fare in addition to a two-page cocktail list that offers such variety, I wasn't sure what to order. The Singapore Sling-ish Buckhead Bom(bay)? Or, for faster effects, perhaps the alcoholic smorgasbord of the Big Island Iced Tea?

In the end, the call of sweetly refreshing pineapple juice won me over. I sampled both the signature Hawaiian Martini and a Piña Colada Martini. Though both featured an aromatic dose of the tropical fruit, the drinks were night and day.

The Hawaiian Martini is no slapped-together, shaken-then-poured beverage. Roy's immerses fresh Hawaiian pineapple in a mixture of Skyy vodka, Skyy vanilla and Malibu coconut rum, letting the blend soak together for several days before pouring it out for patrons. Though the vanilla and coconut mix with the fruit to create a creamy-citrusy taste, at 100 percent alcohol, the drink bites back. And that tempting piece of pineapple garnishing the glass? You'd better have more nourishment than that on the side; having sat in alcohol for well over 50 hours, the chunk is more spirit than snack.

Those with a sweet tooth will find more satisfaction in the Piña Colada Martini. Rather than blended to smooth perfection, the drink instead goes down smoothly with a mix of coconut and pineapple rums as well as a dose of sugary pineapple juice. Truly a walk on the lighter side, the drink weighs neither on the head nor the palate, offering nothing more challenging to taste buds than a day at the beach.

-- Layla Bellows


Roy's, 3475 Piedmont Road. 404-231-3232. www.roysrestaurant.com.

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