Food, Hawaii, Travel, Tropical Drinks

Hawaii in a Glass: My Perfect Mai Tai

One of my favorite things about traveling is having the opportunity to try the local foods and signature drinks around the world. We’ve enjoyed Pirate Pain Killers while sailing around the US Virgin Islands, drank rum punch during our visit to St. Lucia, tried ice-cold Carib beers while sunbathing in St. Maarten, filled up our steins in Leavenworth, and although unsuccessful, I searched for Vikingfjord Vodka during our stay in Norway. While Hawaii has many different signature drinks such as Blue Hawaii’s, Pina Colada’s, and Lava Flows, my favorite is the Mai Tai. The strong drink mixed with delicious tropical flavors is the perfect way to cool off after a fun afternoon in the sun.

Happy Hour at Leilani’s on the Beach in Maui

Hopefully one day I’ll be lucky enough to call Hawaii Home, but in the meantime I’ll spread the Aloha by mixing up these strong cocktails to enjoy with my ‘ohana (family) out on our back patio. Now, I just need some soft sand, some hawaiian music, and a palm tree or two…

My Perfect Mai Tai


  • 2 oz light Rum (I like using Captain Morgan’s Pineapple Rum, or try another fruity flavor like Mango or Coconut Rum)
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Dark Rum (for the float)


Mix the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker and pour over ice. Top with a generous Dark Rum float. All that’s left is a garnish of your choice (I’m particularly fond of a pineapple slice with one of those cute little umbrellas).

Beautiful presentation
A beautiful presentation at the Old Lahaina Luau

Who’s up for a drink? Happy Aloha Friday!

10 thoughts on “Hawaii in a Glass: My Perfect Mai Tai”

  1. Good timing on this post… we are having a luau party next week and I am scanning the internet for all kinds of tropical drink recipes…

    1. Enjoy! The thing I love about this recipe is that it is SO simple. No special simple syrup mixture, no special concoctions, just simple delicious ingredients! 🙂 Aloha my friend!

  2. THE BEST Mai Tai EVER is at the Leahi Club Lounge on the 30th floor of the Sheraton Waikiki, great views and an ONO~licious cocktail, what else is there? HAPPY ALOHA FRIDAY NO WORK TIL MONDAY…( that’s a line from a song believe it or not 😉 )

  3. I am up for a drink, even though it’s only 10,45am in London. But hey, it’s Saturday and I love Mai Thai! I love rum so it’s a perfect cocktail. I like your recipe, it’s simple. Here people also use all kinds of syrups making the cocktail a little bit too expensive to make 🙂 I’ll use yours 🙂

    Are you planning to move to Hawaii? That’s so cool 🙂 I wish I could live there for a while, but I know ‘for a while’ would extend to ‘who knows how long’ and it’s a bit too far away from my homeland 🙂 I am already living away from my family and living halfway across the globe would be very tricky, but also so amazing 🙂

    1. Aloha Kristina!
      That’s my favorite part about it as well… how SIMPLE it is. Sure there are others that probably taste a little bit better but with more ingredients or more steps. But for just a simple drink after work or on Aloha Friday, this is the perfect one for me! Let me know what you think 🙂

      My husband and I want to move there. We keep talking about it, and as much as we visit, we probably should. He just needs to finish school and then we would both need to find jobs. 🙂 I’ll keep the dream alive for now! 🙂 It would be hard to be SO far away from family… that’s the drawback. 😦 But one of my best friends lives on Oahu, so we’d have some instant connections there. Enjoy your weekend!

      1. So exciting that you are thinking of moving to Hawaii 🙂 That will be amazing 🙂 I lived away from my family for 10 years now, but it helps to have Charlie 🙂 And you too have Cody so you will be fine, especially that you already have a best friend over there 🙂 Your too have a great weekend!

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