Who else needs a tropical escape for their weekend? If you put your hand in the air, take yourself on a miniature vacation to Downtown Waikiki with this delicious and sweet Mai Tai Punch!
My husband and I lived on the island of Oahu off and on for about ten years, and it left a strong impression. Sometimes we yearn for classic and legitimate Hawaii. And other times, well, we honestly yearn for tourist Hawaii.
We used to love taking ourselves on little mini vacations to Waikiki, spending a night in one of the hotels and hopping from the beach to the bar to restaurants and shows throughout the day, soaking it all in. We’ve spent some serious quality time at the Barefoot Bar at the Hale Koa, at Dukes, at the Shorebird, and many other classic haunts that have stood the test of time.
Anyone who’s had a legitimate Mai Tai will tell you that the real thing is hard to find in Waikiki. The real thing was once made of rum, simple syrup, orange curaçao, and lime juice of all things. If that doesn’t sound very Hawaiian, it’s because the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki used pineapple and orange juice to make the cocktail more tourist friendly – and a classic was born.
I call mine a Mai Tai Punch rather than a Mai Tai. It’s made for a big glass and it contains a lot of juice. It also contains a lot of rum and it goes down easily thanks to the sweetness of the pineapple and the orange juice and the homemade grenadine, so sip with caution.
But some days, it’s just what the doctor ordered. Sometimes you need something bright and sunny and cheerful and full of fruit – and rum – to feel like you’re on vacation, like you’re kicking up your feet and Jimmy Buffet is on the speakers and there’s not much to worry about. Not even that lost shaker of salt, because you don’t need one for this drink.
This is a great one to serve up pitcher style at a large barbecue or luau-themed party. Just make sure you’ve chopped up plenty of fruit for garnish – unless you’ve got paper umbrellas to spare. Those are okay, too. It’s a no judgment zone here.
So our version definitely isn’t the original, but it’s pretty authentic to what you’d get cruising all the barefoot beachfront tourist bars on Waikiki, and it’s pretty damn delicious.
Mai Tai Punch
- May 15, 2020
- 10 min
- Print this
- Step 1
- In a cocktail mixer full of ice, combine the rum, grenadine, pineapple juice, and orange juice. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass full of ice. You can also layer it (mix the rum and grenadine and pour, and layer on the orange and then pineapple juice) for the look in the photos.
- Step 2
- Garnish with pineapple, orange, strawberry, maraschino cherries, or even a little umbrella, if that strikes your fancy!
I would say just use caution – the fruit juice makes the rum go down really easily, and a tall one of these is enough to make me want to take a nap.
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Happy weekend, friends! Stay safe out there!