Pearl Harbor Cocktail Recipe

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Pearl Harbor Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:20%

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Pearl Harbor cocktail is a classic drink that dates back to the mid-20th century. It's named after the infamous event that led to the United States' entry into World War II. Despite its somber namesake, the drink itself is light, refreshing, and tropical. It's a popular choice for those who enjoy fruity cocktails.

How Pearl Harbor Tastes?

The Pearl Harbor is a sweet and fruity cocktail with a light hint of sourness. The dominant flavors are the tropical pineapple and the smooth, sweet melon from the Midori. The vodka adds a subtle kick without overpowering the other flavors.

Interesting facts about Pearl Harbor

  • Despite its name, the Pearl Harbor cocktail is not Hawaiian in origin. It was likely named for its tropical flavors.
  • The cocktail's green color comes from Midori, a sweet, bright green liqueur.
  • The Pearl Harbor is typically served in a highball glass over ice.


A few good options for Pearl Harbor are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


The vodka is the backbone of the cocktail, providing a strong, clean alcoholic base that allows the flavors of Midori and pineapple juice to shine. At 1.5 oz, it's just enough to give you a kick without overpowering the other ingredients. Without vodka, the cocktail would be non-alcoholic and lose its boozy charm. A possible alternative is white rum for a slightly sweeter and more complex flavor.

Mary Mitkina


Midori brings a vibrant green color and a sweet, melon flavor to the party, making the drink visually attractive and adding a fruity note. 1 oz is a perfect amount to balance the cocktail without overwhelming the taste buds. If omitted, the cocktail would lose its distinctive melon flavor and characteristic color. You could substitute with another melon liqueur or even a fruit schnapps for a different twist.

Alex Green

Pineapple Juice

2 oz of pineapple juice add a tropical acidity and sweetness, marrying well with the melon notes of Midori and the neutrality of vodka. Too much juice would make the drink overly sweet and dilute its strength, while too little would make it too strong and less refreshing. Alternate option: mango juice for a more exotic take.

Emma Rose

Maraschino Cherry

The cherry is more than just an edible decoration; it hints at a deep, slightly tart sweetness which can be a delightful surprise as you drink. If you skip it, you're simply missing out on a classic garnish, but the overall flavor won't change much. You can try a fresh cherry for a less sugary option.

Mary Mitkina

Pineapple Slice

The slice of pineapple isn't just for show – it adds an aroma that hints at the tropical flavors to come while sipping on your drink. Without it, the cocktail lacks a bit of flare and fruity scent. As an alternative, you could use a wedge of lime for a zesty twist.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Pearl Harbor Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  2. Pour the vodka, Midori, and pineapple juice over the ice.
  3. Stir well to mix the ingredients.
  4. Garnish with a pineapple slice and a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh pineapple juice if possible. It makes a big difference in the taste.
  • Don't skip the garnish. The pineapple slice and cherry add a nice touch to the presentation.

Perfect Pairings


  • Sushi Rolls: The sweet and fruity flavors of the Pearl Harbor cocktail complement the umami and slight sweetness of sushi, especially rolls with avocado or tropical fruits.
  • Grilled Chicken Skewers: The pineapple juice in the cocktail pairs well with the caramelization of the grilled chicken.

Main Courses

  • Hawaiian Pizza: The pineapple in the cocktail echoes the pineapple on the pizza, bringing a harmonious tropical vibe to your palate.
  • Teriyaki Glazed Salmon: The sweetness and tanginess of the cocktail can cut through the rich, savory flavor of the salmon.


  • Coconut Cream Pie: The creaminess of the pie balanced with the zesty pineapple flavor of the cocktail is a match made in heaven.
  • Fruit Tarts: Pair with a fresh fruit tart to echo the cocktail's fruity notes.

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What you could change in Pearl Harbor

  • You can substitute the vodka with light rum for a more tropical flavor.
  • If you don't have Midori, you can use another melon liqueur.

Explore all drinks starting with P here

And of course - twists🍹

Green Tea Harbor

  • Substitute vodka with green tea-infused vodka for an earthy twist.
  • The cocktail will have an added depth and a subtle grassy note, pairing well with the sweet Midori.
  • The color may become slightly less vibrant due to the tea infusion.

Spicy Harbor

  • Add a small slice of jalapeño to the shaker before mixing to introduce a spicy kick.
  • The sweet and spicy combination will tantalize the taste buds and provide a warming aftertaste.
  • The drink will retain its tropical feel but with an unexpected heat.

Berry Harbor

  • Replace pineapple juice with mixed berry juice for a berry-forward flavor profile.
  • The drink will take on a reddish hue and have a more tart and berry-rich taste.
  • This variant offers a refreshing alternative to the classic, perfect for berry enthusiasts.

In case you forgot basics how to make Pearl Harbor

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Pearl Harbor

Are there any variations of the Pearl Harbor cocktail?

Yes, some variations include adding a dash of sour mix or using spiced rum instead of vodka.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Pearl Harbor cocktail?

Yes, you can substitute the vodka and Midori with non-alcoholic substitutes like ginger ale for vodka and melon flavored syrup or juice for Midori.

What is the best time to enjoy the Pearl Harbor Cocktail?

It's a refreshing cocktail that is best enjoyed in summer or in a tropical setting due to its fruity, tropical flavors.

Are there any special utensils needed to make the Pearl Harbor cocktail?

While the recipe doesn't call for any special utensils, having a cocktail stirrer can be helpful in properly mixing the ingredients.

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