Royal Hawaiian Cocktail Recipe

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Royal Hawaiian Nutrition Facts






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 Royal Hawaiian cocktail has its roots in the 1920s, when it was first created at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii. This tropical cocktail quickly gained popularity among the hotel's guests and soon became a symbol of luxury and relaxation. The Royal Hawaiian is a perfect drink for those who enjoy fruity and refreshing cocktails with a touch of sophistication.

  • The Royal Hawaiian Hotel was a popular destination for celebrities and royalty
  • The cocktail was created to showcase the flavors of Hawaii and provide a refreshing drink for guests
  • The Royal Hawaiian has evolved over the years, with many variations on the original recipe

How Royal Hawaiian Tastes?

The Royal Hawaiian cocktail has a sweet and fruity taste, with a hint of tartness from the pineapple juice. The gin adds a subtle herbal and floral note, while the orgeat syrup provides a rich almond flavor. Overall, the drink is well-balanced, refreshing, and perfect for sipping on a warm day.

Interesting facts about Royal Hawaiian

  • The Royal Hawaiian is sometimes referred to as the 'Pink Palace' due to its signature pink color
  • The cocktail was originally made with gin, but some modern variations use vodka or light rum
  • The Royal Hawaiian is often garnished with a pineapple wedge and cherry, adding to its tropical appeal


A few good options for Royal Hawaiian are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Gin is the boozy backbone of this tropical drink, its botanicals mingling with the fruity flavors. At 1.5 oz, it's just enough to enlighten but not overpower. Like wearing a lei without getting lost in the flowers! Without it, you'd be sipping fancy juice. An alternative? Try vodka for a cleaner taste.

Emma Rose

Pineapple Juice

1.5 oz pineapple juice brings the beach to your taste buds. It sweetens the deal and adds that tropical punch. Less would leave your cocktail thirsting for more, more might send you swimming in sugary waves.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

Sharp and bright, 0.5 oz lemon juice cuts through the sweetness. It's like the sour tang of a good friend telling you that Hawaiian shirt might be too loud for the party. Miss it out, and the cocktail's balance tips over like a clumsy hula dancer.

Mary Mitkina

Orgeat Syrup

This almond syrup at 0.5 oz whispers nuts amidst the chorus of fruits. Too little and its voice would be lost, too much might cause a flavor cacophony. No orgeat? Expect a less complex profile, less 'aloha' in your glass.

Emma Rose


It's just a dash (0.25 oz) of grenadine for color and a hint of sweetness, like a gentle sunset in your sipping experience. Forget this and the Royal Hawaiian loses its regal blush.

Alex Green

Pineapple Wedge

A garnish, a snack, a statement—this pineapple wedge is all. Neglect it and your glass will miss its tropical crown.

Mary Mitkina

Maraschino Cherry

The maraschino cherry is that final pop of color and sweetness, the jewel in the cocktail's crown. Leave it out, and it's like forgetting a royal decree - the presentation will suffer.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Royal Hawaiian Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add gin, pineapple juice, lemon juice, orgeat syrup, and grenadine
  3. Shake well until chilled
  4. Strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass
  5. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool longer
  • Use freshly squeezed pineapple and lemon juice for a more vibrant flavor
  • Shake the cocktail vigorously to properly mix the ingredients and chill the drink

Perfect Pairings

Tropical & Savory Snacks

Pair the Royal Hawaiian with light and savory canapes that won't overpower its delicate tropical flavors. A good option would be mini crab cakes or shrimp cocktail.

Sweet & Fruity Desserts

The cocktail's sweetness pairs well with fruity desserts. Think pineapple upside-down cake or lemon tarts to complement the citrus notes.


For a healthier option, a fresh tropical salad with mango, avocado, and greens tossed in a light vinaigrette would be refreshing and harmonize with the cocktail's flavors.

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What you could change in Royal Hawaiian

  • Vodka or light rum can be used instead of gin
  • Almond syrup can replace orgeat syrup if it's not available
  • Lime juice can be used as a substitute for lemon juice

Explore all drinks starting with R here

And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Hawaiian

Addition of 0.5 oz spicy ginger syrup. It kicks like a mule in a grass skirt beside the smooth gin and sweet fruit juices. It should electrify the tropics with a ginger zing.

Royal Tea Hawaiian

Swap out the gin for 1.5 oz of Earl Grey-infused vodka. This twist is like having tea with the queen on a surfboard. It adds an aromatic layer and brings a noble gravitas to the party.

Aloha Berry

Introduce 0.5 oz of Chambord (raspberry liqueur). The splash of Chambord is like wearing a raspberry lei. It deepens the flavor with berry notes, giving the cocktail a richer, more rounded fruit profile.

In case you forgot basics how to make Royal Hawaiian

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

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 Royal Hawaiian

What type of gin is best used for the Royal Hawaiian cocktail?

A dry gin works well for this cocktail. The botanicals in the gin balance the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Can I use canned pineapple juice for the Royal Hawaiian cocktail?

Yes, you can use canned pineapple juice. However, it's always best to use fresh juice when available, as it can provide a brighter flavor.

Is there a particular type of glass this cocktail should be served in?

Traditionally, the Royal Hawaiian is served in a coupe glass or a martini glass, but feel free to use any glassware you prefer.

What is the alcohol content of this cocktail?

The alcohol content can vary based on the amount and proof of the gin used. Please enjoy responsibly.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Royal Hawaiian?

Yes, for a non-alcoholic version, you can replace the gin with water, soda, or a non-alcoholic spirit of your choice.

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