Tiki Cocktail Recipe

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Tiki 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 Tiki cocktail culture originated in the 1930s and 1940s, with the opening of Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic's bars in California. These bars were inspired by the exotic flavors and atmosphere of the South Pacific, and soon became popular destinations for Hollywood stars and tourists alike. Tiki cocktails are known for their elaborate presentations, tropical flavors, and strong rum bases.

How Tiki Tastes?

Tiki cocktails are typically sweet, fruity, and refreshing, with a balanced combination of sour and sweet flavors. They often have a strong rum base, which adds a rich, warm undertone to the drink.

Interesting facts about Tiki

  • The term 'Tiki' refers to the carved wooden statues found in Polynesian cultures, which were often used to represent deities or ancestors.
  • The Mai Tai, one of the most famous Tiki cocktails, was allegedly created by Trader Vic in 1944.
  • Tiki cocktails often feature elaborate garnishes, such as fresh fruit, flowers, and even small umbrellas.



2 oz Rum: The backbone of any Tiki drink, rum adds depth and complexity. The amount used can make or break the careful balance with the other ingredients. Too much can overpower, too little can leave the cocktail feeling flat. It's a fine line that must be walked with care.

Alex Green

Orange Curacao

1 oz Orange Curacao: This adds a sweet and citrusy zing. It bridges the gap between the lime's tartness and the almond-like notes of the orgeat. Leave it out and you'll lose a layer of complexity in the drink, putting too much importance on the other sweet elements.

Emma Rose

Orgeat Syrup

0.5 oz Orgeat Syrup: The sweet, nutty flavor of orgeat adds an exotic touch and counters the acidity of the lime juice. Not enough will result in a cocktail that's too tart, too much can be overly cloying. It's all about the equilibrium.

Mary Mitkina

Lime Juice

1 oz Lime Juice: It's the refreshing splash of acidity that cuts through the sweetness, making the cocktail moreish and well-balanced. The wrong amount can either leave your mouth puckering or searching for some zing.

Alex Green

Crushed Ice

1 cup Crushed Ice: It chills the drink quickly while diluting the mix to the perfect strength as it melts. Skimp on this and your Tiki cocktail might be too strong, overdo it and you could end up with a watered-down disappointment.

Emma Rose

Mint Sprig

Mint Sprig: The garnish isn't just for looks; the aroma of the mint enhances every sip. It's a final flourish that signifies 'care and attention to detail'.

Mary Mitkina


Pineapple Slice, Cherry: These add a tropical aesthetic and a hint of sweetness with each sip, ultimately tying the whole Tiki experience together.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Tiki Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with crushed ice.
  2. Add 2 oz of rum, 1 oz of orange curacao, 0.5 oz of orgeat syrup, and 1 oz of lime juice to the shaker.
  3. Shake well to combine and chill the ingredients.
  4. Strain the mixture into a Tiki glass or a tall glass filled with crushed ice.
  5. Garnish with a mint sprig, pineapple slice, and cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
  • Shake the cocktail vigorously to properly mix the ingredients and chill the drink.
  • Garnish is important for the full Tiki experience, don't skip it!

Perfect Pairings


Tiki cocktails, with their tropical and fruity notes, pair wonderfully with seafood dishes. The acidity from the lime and the sweetness of the orgeat and curacao can complement everything from grilled shrimp to a fresh poke bowl.

Spicy Food

The sweetness of this Tiki cocktail can help to balance the heat from spicy foods. It works well with spicy Thai dishes, hot wings, or even a spicy barbecue.

Fruit-Based Desserts

End your meal on a sweet note with a fruit-based dessert. This cocktail's flavors would be echoed in dishes like mango sorbet or a pineapple upside-down cake.

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What you could change in Tiki

  • Rum: You can use any type of rum, but a dark rum will give a richer flavor.
  • Orange Curacao: Can be replaced with any orange-flavored liqueur.
  • Orgeat Syrup: If you can't find it, you can use almond syrup instead.

Explore all drinks starting with T here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Tiki

To add a mysterious twist, use mezcal instead of rum. The smoky character of mezcal will introduce a new dimension, contrasting yet complementing the sweet and citrus elements of the original.

Spiced Tiki

Enhance the complexity by adding 0.5 oz of spiced syrup—think cinnamon, allspice, or even clove. This will make the cocktail warmer in taste, a nice twist for a cooler evening.

Tiki Royale

Add a splash of champagne on top after pouring your mixed cocktail into the glass. The effervescence will lift the drink, giving it a festive feel that's perfect for celebrations.

In case you forgot basics how to make Tiki

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 Tiki

What type of glass is best to serve a Tiki cocktail?

Tiki cocktails are typically served in 'Tiki' glasses, which are large, curvy glasses often decorated with Polynesian-style designs. However, if you don't have a Tiki glass, any large glass, like a highball or hurricane glass, would work.

What other cocktails can be classified as Tiki cocktails?

The Mai Tai, Zombie, Singapore Sling, and Painkiller are all examples of classic Tiki cocktails.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of a Tiki cocktail?

You can absolutely make a non-alcoholic version of a Tiki cocktail, often referred to as a 'mocktail.' You simply have to omit the alcoholic ingredients and replace them with similar tasting non-alcoholic alternatives, or more of the non-alcoholic ingredients already used in the cocktail.

What are some good snacks or meals to pair with Tiki cocktails?

Tiki cocktails pair well with a variety of tropical-themed dishes. Some good options include Hawaiian pizza, coconut shrimp, or grilled pineapple. For a lighter option, a tropical fruit salad could also work very well.

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