If you’re on the hunt for some refreshing Hawaiian cocktails to keep you cool this summer, look no further. It may seem a bit counterintuitive to sip on a chilled cocktail under the blazing sun, but let’s not question our love for delicious drinks – especially when it comes to Hawaii.
You’ve probably heard of classics like the Blue Hawaiian and Mai Tai, which are beloved by cocktail connoisseurs all over the world. And with an abundance of coconut and pineapple trees dotting the islands, there’s no shortage of options to enjoy during your vacation or even in the comfort of your own backyard by the pool.
I’ve put together a list of the most famous cocktail recipes in Hawaii that are sure to make your taste buds dance with delight. From frozen concoctions to timeless Mimosas and unique blends you won’t find anywhere else, there’s something here for everyone.
So go ahead, pour yourself a glass, and raise a toast to the season with these delightful beverages straight from the tropical paradise of Hawaii!
Top 10 Hawaiian Cocktails To Get In The Spirit
Nothing screams the spirit of Hawaiian vacation like a glass of Blue Hawaiian Cocktail. Thanks to Curaçao liqueur, this classic drink features a signature blue shade that radiates a fun and refreshing energy even before the first sip.
The basic version of this tried-and-true blue cocktail utilizes white rum and Curaçao at its alcoholic base. The light, sweet orange flavors with citrus notes and a bitter finish towards the end are perfectly complemented by a touch of coconut cream’s richness.
If you plan to host a tiki party, this summery beverage is your best bet! Every sip feels like a tropical paradise in your mouth. You can mix everything up in a cocktail shaker. Or else, simply give the assembly a few whirls in a blender until the mixture is smooth!
Visiting the bars and resorts of Hawaii, you’ll come across the Lava Flow, one of the most popular cocktails on the islands. Visually speaking, the drink mimics the look of a real-life volcano, with two distinct layers that combine as you sip.
This Hawaiian treat is a beautiful cross between a strawberry Daiquiri and a Piña Colada at its most basic. Coconut rum and light rum serve as the alcoholic base for this drink, offering a sweet but subtle flavor with a creaminess that feels like the tropics on your couch.
On the other hand, a load of frozen strawberries lends itself to a gorgeous color on the bottom half of the glass. This attractive cocktail umbrella or some pineapple wedges make a lovely contrast without looking overwhelming.
This frozen cocktail doesn’t hold up well in the fridge, so you won’t be making it in advance. But considering that the whole assembly is ready in 5 minutes, making this drink should be easy!
Don’t miss out on the whole summer essential: Hawaiian Lava Flow!
3. Mai Tai
Arguably the signature cocktail of Hawaii, Mai Tai’s reputation has spread in and outside the islands. Nowadays, it’s no doubt that each Hawaiian bar and restaurant strives to create their version of the iconic drink.
Despite its sunset hue and tropical flavors, the story of Mai Tai started on the calm shores of California, not Hawaii. Legend has it that “Trader Vic” Bergeron first created the drink in 1944 to serve his two Tahitian friends before being brought to Hawaii in 1953.
This island cocktail features two types of rum, pineapple juice, and POM Wonderful. The result is a fun and refreshing treat with prominent rum flavors. It’s not a particularly sweet drink, but you can switch it up with simple syrup to suit a sweet tooth!
4. Maui Mule
Tangy, bubbly, and looking like summer in a glass, Maui Mule is essentially the Hawaiian rendition of the classic Moscow Mule. The drink is no less than a frizzy tropical perfection featuring vodka, sparkling water, and lots of ice!
Did you know that this delightful cocktail is also effective in greatly benefiting your health? That’s right! Thanks to ginger, the drink is a rich source of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it a natural remedy for digestive issues and colds.
Rather than a glass, the Maui Mule is commonly enjoyed in a copper mug, with a slice of lime or two to enhance its visual. For extra texture dimensions,
Out of all Hawaiian beverages, it’s safe to say that the Bahama Mama perfectly captures the island’s spirit. With some of the region’s most cherished products like orange, pineapple juice, and coconut rum, this cocktail will take you somewhere sunny in a flash!
In a nutshell, combine all the elements in a hurricane glass. A splash of grenadine is excellent for adding complexity to the flavor and bright red color with a ruby undertone. And if time’s on your side, this tasty drink pairs well with a slice of orange and a juicy cherry for garnish.
Undoubtedly, the Bahama Mama is the ultimate thirst quencher for a sunny afternoon near the pool. The silky, smooth, and sweet-tart flavor with citrusy notes is sure to create fireworks across your tongue. Sit back, then chill with a lovely glass in hand!
One of the finest vodka cocktails that Hawaii offers, this Tropical Island Breeze will do precisely what its name implies. It gives off an ocean breeze vibe on the sandy stretch of coastline, and it also tastes like one!
Making this treat is a piece of cake. Pour coconut rum, bourbon, and pineapple juice into a glass and mix it nicely. This refreshing pineapple cocktail is sweet with a sour edge.
I love visiting Hawaii because you’re never too far from the nearest pineapple tree. Therefore, this concoction is a must-try for anyone setting their feet on the islands. Don’t be shy to multiply it for party hosts and treat your guests to the best summery drink ever!
Let’s be honest! This tropical treat looks drop-dead gorgeous; it’ll look like you spent a whole day hand-crafting it. However, it’s the recipe that gets ready in 5 minutes without fuss. You’ll want to keep this Chi Chi cocktail recipe for the next sultry summer day.
While this drink owes its roots to Puerto Rican cuisine, it’s considered a Hawaiian treat because of how much it’s sipped on during tourists’ vacations on the islands. Essentially a vodka twist on Piña Colada, this excellent frozen cocktail will keep you cool in the summer.
The key to the frothy and indulgent texture lies in one ingredient: cream of coconut, which is a lot sweeter than coconut cream. Meanwhile, pineapple and lime juice render a sweet, tart, and refreshing taste to bump up the flavor.
Since you can’t taste the vodka in this drink, you can use a low or mid-priced bottom instead of a top-shelf one. Set your imagination free and create an attractive drink with garnishes like maraschino cherries or pineapple slices when it comes to presentation.
It truly doesn’t matter where you’re at or what kind of weather; there’s always room for a glass of Mojito or two. This Hawaiian riff on the classic version stars coconut rum, club soda, and a pineapple coconut mixer that takes your happy hour to the next level.
By muddling fresh mint leaves on the bottom of the glass, the light and refreshing flavor are released, balancing out coconut cream’s rich, indulgent taste. This specific version has a bright and light green color, making it the perfect party treat for a lovely summer evening.
Any tropical sparkling water will do. It doesn’t necessarily have to be club soda. If you want to turn this concoction into a pretty-in-pink cocktail, you can replace the pineapple coconut mixer with some blackberries or a splash of Hibiscus tea in a pinch.
There’s nothing like the Scorpion Bowl when you need an impressive cocktail. This exquisite tiki delicacy is like no other for how it’s presented and enjoyed. While the drink’s origin remains a mystery, many believe it was first poured in The Hut, a Honolulu bar, in the 1930s.
Traditionally, Scorpion Bowl is a combination of rum, brandy, orange juice, and orgeat syrup. The assembly is served in a communal volcano-shaped bowl. The crater in the center is filled with rum and ignited to emulate a volcano and is often enjoyed by a group of folks.
As a blend of different types of alcohol, this flaming drink gives off a delightful complexity in flavor. It’s so spicy, sweet, and earthy, and can be easily tweaked to suit your desire. You’ll also want to grab a long straw to keep the fire away from your hair while devouring the drink.
Visiting Hawaii, this signature cocktail could be so much fun shared with your friends and family. However, beware that this is real fire mixed with lots of booze, so you have to be cautious when pulling this off, especially if you want to try it at home.
Hawaiian Sea Breeze, or a Bay Breeze, is quite the epitome of summer tropical cocktails. This quintessential cranberry cocktail is such a breeze to whip up, starring just three main attractions.
Don’t confuse it with Sea Breeze, another drink that gets its primary flavor from grapefruit juice instead of pineapple juice and cranberry juice. A standard Bay Breeze boasts the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness when done correctly.
The use of cranberry juice and pineapple juice indeed renders a prominent fruitiness that screams tropics in every palatable sip. For those who aren’t fans of tart cocktails, a good trick is to replace cranberry juice with a blend of cranberry and pomegranate juice!