Cocktail trends come and go, but it’s still a great idea to build up your knowledge and taste, you never know when bartending duty will call!
If you’re interested in expanding your options for summery or vacation beverages, consider diving into Hawaiian cocktails.
These sumptuous beverages draw inspiration from the diverse ecosystem of the Hawaiian Islands to create flavor combinations you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
To help your gastronomic exploration, we’ve compiled and tested this list of the tastiest and most enchanting Hawaiian cocktails out there. Read on to learn more!
Best Hawaii Cocktails
The Mai Tai is perhaps the most famous tropical cocktail on the market. Although the drink was first produced in San Francisco and was inspired by Tahiti, it was popularized by the Hawaiian Royal Hotel, which sold a special version of the drink.
It’s the classic sweet tropical beverage with an explosive combination of rum, lime, and simple syrup--or orgeat syrup, which is a nutty, citrusy syrup that a lot of popular tropical drinks use.
The mai tai is great to order if you are on vacation or just want to bring the island vibes to wherever you are—plus, since it’s so well-known, it’s always a safe bet at any bar.
Spicy Mango Sake Rum Cocktail
The Spicy Mango Sake Rum Cocktail is a unique tropical beverage and an ideal choice when you want to impress your friends. The drink has an excellent blend of spicy and sweet flavors and reflects the large Japanese diaspora that has influenced Hawaiian culture.
It’s especially good for small dinner parties with a tropical flair--or for simply treating yourself.
The "Hawaiian Bonfire" Spicy Pineapple Cocktail
The next item on our list is another spicy-and-sweet cocktail, the Hawaiian Bonfire.
The drink’s fiery name is inspired by its smoky flavor, which comes from the mezcal mixed into it. At the same time, though, this drink is more delicate than sweet tropical cocktails, and the jalapenos add just the perfect touch to the spice.
On top of that, it uses plenty of pineapple juice, so this drink is the ideal choice for people who like pineapple.
Hawaiian Pineapple Cosmopolitan Cocktail
Do you want to feel like Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw but with a Pacific twist? Reach for this Hawaiian Pineapple Cosmopolitan Cocktail.
This beverage is very citrusy, with orange and lemon flavors to complement the pineapple. Plus, don’t forget the mint leaf garnish for an extra classy touch!
Between its classic inspiration and its subdued flavors, this Cosmopolitan variation is a good cocktail if you don't want to go over the top with your Hawaiian tropical theme.
Paradisio Tropical Cocktail
The Paradisio Tropical Cocktail is another original production of the Hawaiian Royal Hotel. It’s a bit of a deep cut into the history of the tropical cocktail world, but it still belongs to the category of classic tropical cocktails.
In terms of flavor, this one is sweet but dry, owing to the effect of its prosecco, its tuaca (an Italian vanilla/orange liqueur), and Chambord (a French black raspberry liqueur). This rich flavor combo makes for an eminently class vacation beverage.
This gin-based drink is a nice variation on the conventional vodka and rum based beverages. With a delightful combination of liquor, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and orgeat, the drink brings a ton of natural sweetness without the loudness and excess of tropical flavors.
Whiskey Tiki Sour
As this cocktail’s name implies, this cocktail is a traditional whiskey sour with a subtle island twist. Its ingredients take the conventional whiskey, lemon juice, and bitters, and then add some orgeat syrup--which is a great way to make any cocktail tropical in a pinch.
Whether you are looking for a summer nightcap or are in a jam while hosting a tropical-themed party, use this cocktail as a fallback.
Blue Hawaii Cocktail
This bright blue cocktail might look like a popsicle, but don’t be fooled--it has a strong punch of alcoholic flavor.
The color comes from blue curacao liqueur, which has a sweet flavor with bitter undertones akin to bitter orange. The beverage also has vodka, rum, sour mix, and fruit garnishes (the best options are pineapple and cherries if you have them)
This is a party drink if there ever was one, so make it in a big batch if you want to party hard with friends.
Tiki Sunrise Cocktail
This Instagrammable drink has an ombre effect that layers the drink from dark red to light yellow.
The basic ingredients--grenadine, rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, and coconut cream should tell you one thing: this is a super sweet drink. That said, it’s a crowd pleaser regardless of whether people like alcohol or not, as it tastes like fruit juice (be careful with that!).
Hawaiian Margarita with Pineapple & Coconut
If you want a tropical surprise, make a big batch of Hawaiian margaritas for your next tiki-themed party. This recipe adds pineapple juice and coconut water to a traditional margarita to make a combo that is arguably better than the original, with the tartness and sweetness merging into a dynamic flavor.
Hawaiian Party Punch
For connecting with your inner child, try out this boozy punch--it’s perfect for setting out in a big bowl on the buffet table.
With vodka and rum, plus strong pineapple and orange flavors, this cocktail can go with any adult-only dinner party menu.
Lava Flow Cocktail
The lava flow cocktail is a combo drink: it has a sweet strawberry slushie on the bottom with a creamy coconut blend on the top layer, creating the look of a lava flow. Its core ingredient is rum, but there is room for special fruit surprises, such as bananas.
People who usually do not like martinis might enjoy this slightly sweeter version, which uses pineapple juice and coconut rum to imbue tropical flavors into the beverage.
This is a vodka martini, but in theory, you could switch it up and make it a tropical gin martini if you like. That said, any martini is a bit more effort to make correctly, so you should wait to make this one for date night or a tiny get-together with intimate friends.
As this article shows, with just a few ingredients in your liquor cabinet, you can turn your living room into an island paradise with Hawaiian cocktail recipes!
Did we forget one of your favorite Hawaiian cocktails? Leave a comment below, and we’ll be sure to check it out!
Top 13 Delicious Hawaii Cocktails
- Mai Tai
- Spicy Mango Sake Rum Cocktail
- The "Hawaiian Bon Fire" Spicy Pineapple Cocktail
- Hawaiian Pineapple Cosmopolitan Cocktail
- Paradisio Tropical Cocktail
- Royal Hawaiian
- Whiskey Tiki Sour
- Blue Hawaii Cocktail
- Tiki Sunrise Cocktail
- Hawaiian Margarita with Pineapple & Coconut
- Hawaiian Party Punch
- Lava Flow Cocktail
- Hawaiian Martini
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