Waikiki Cocktail Recipe

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Waikiki 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 Waikiki cocktail is a tropical and refreshing drink that originated in the beautiful island of Hawaii. Known for its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife, Waikiki is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The Waikiki cocktail was created to capture the essence of this paradise, and has since become a favorite among those who enjoy fruity and exotic beverages.

  • The name 'Waikiki' comes from the famous Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • The cocktail is believed to have been created in the 1960s, during the tiki culture craze
  • It is often enjoyed at luaus, beach parties, and other festive occasions

How Waikiki Tastes?

The Waikiki cocktail is a delightful mix of sweet, tangy, and fruity flavors. The combination of pineapple juice, orange juice, and lime juice creates a refreshing and zesty base, while the coconut rum and grenadine add a touch of sweetness and a hint of tropical flair. The result is a well-balanced and delicious drink that is perfect for sipping on a warm summer day.

Interesting facts about Waikiki

  • The Waikiki cocktail is sometimes referred to as a 'Hawaiian Mai Tai'
  • The drink is often served in a tiki-style glass or a hurricane glass, adding to its tropical appeal
  • The Waikiki cocktail is sometimes garnished with a pineapple wedge, cherry, or a cocktail umbrella for an extra touch of island flair


Pineapple Juice

The pineapple juice adds tropical sweetness and a bit of tartness, which is essential for creating that island vibe. If you're scant, your Waikiki will lack its fruity backbone; too much, and it's aloha to balance! No pineapple? Try mango juice for a different tropical twist.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Juice

Orange juice gives a citrusy zing and boosts the tropical feel. Less would lose its sunny disposition, more could overshadow the other fruity players. Orange you glad there's flexibility? Swap with tangerine juice if you're feeling adventurous!

Alex Green

Lime Juice

The lime juice is the cocktail's tart referee, keeping the sweet flavors in check. Skimp on this, and it's a sugar rush; overdo it, and it's sour hour. If you don't have limes, lemons are a zesty understudy.

Emma Rose

Coconut Rum

Ah, coconut rum- the beach in a bottle. It adds a creamy, nutty flavor that's key to the Waikiki's charm. Too little? It'll whisper coconut. Too much? You're diving into a coconut cream pie. No coconut rum? Try vanilla-flavored rum for a cozy spin.

Mary Mitkina


Grenadine is the sunset in this tropical cocktail, adding color and a touch of sweetness. Not enough, and you miss the dusk; too much, and it could become syrupy. No grenadine? A splash of pomegranate juice might save the day.

Alex Green


It's not just ice - it's the arctic architect of this drink, making it cool and aiding in dilution. It's a Goldilocks scenario: just right is perfect. No ice means a warm wave instead of a cool breeze.

Emma Rose

Pineapple Wedge

The pineapple wedge is your edible garnish - the lei on your drink. It's a snackable visual cue that screams tropical. No pineapple wedge for your hula? A slice of orange will keep the party going.

Mary Mitkina

Maraschino Cherry

The maraschino cherry is the ruby red jewel atop the treasure that is your Waikiki. It adds a little kiss of sweetness. Forget it, and you've robbed the treasure chest; but if you're out, a raspberry can play the gem, too.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Waikiki Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add the pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, coconut rum, and grenadine
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined
  4. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with fresh ice
  5. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure all the ingredients are well mixed
  • Use freshly squeezed juices for a more authentic and refreshing taste
  • Chill the glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool for longer

Perfect Pairings


  • Tropical Fruit Salad: The sweetness of the cocktail would complement the natural sugars in a tropical fruit salad.
  • Shrimp or Chicken Skewers: The acidity from the lime juice and the sweetness from the fruit juices will balance out the savory flavors of grilled skewers.
  • Spicy Foods: The sweetness of the Waikiki cocktail can cut through the heat of spicy dishes.


  • Coconut-based desserts: A pairing that echoes the coconut in the rum.
  • Fruit Tarts or Sorbet: Light and refreshing desserts to match the drink's refreshing quality.


  • Sparkling Water: To help cleanse the palate between sips of this sweet cocktail.
  • Light Beers: They won't overpower the cocktail's flavors.

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What you could change in Waikiki

  • Coconut rum can be replaced with regular white rum for a less sweet version
  • If you don't have grenadine, you can use a dash of maraschino cherry juice
  • Orange juice can be substituted with grapefruit juice for a more tangy flavor

Explore all drinks starting with W here

And of course - twists🍹

The Sunset Beach

Switch it up with a splash of soda water for a refreshing fizz. Add some muddled mint leaves for an herbal hint. Change: A spritz of bubbly will lighten the sweetness, and the mint will make you feel like you've got your toes in the sand.

The Volcanic Waikiki

Add a shot of spicy rum or a slice of jalapeño for an explosive kick. Change: The heat from the spice or jalapeño will contrast the cocktail's sweetness, like lava meeting ocean waves.

Aloha Sparkler

Replace half of the pineapple juice with sparkling pineapple wine or prosecco. Change: The effervescence from the sparkling wine will give the drink an elegant twist, dancing on your tongue like a luau under the stars.

In case you forgot basics how to make Waikiki

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 Waikiki

What is the primary taste of a Waikiki cocktail?

The Waikiki cocktail primarily tastes sweet, tangy, and fruity. Its flavour mainly comes from the balance between the acidity of the juices (pineapple, orange, lime) and the sweetness from the coconut rum and grenadine. However, flavours can vary slightly depending on the brands of ingredients used.

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

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic or 'mocktail' version of the Waikiki by either skipping the rum or replacing it with a non-alcoholic alternative, such as coconut water or a coconut flavored beverage. Please note that this will change the taste of the cocktail.

How strong is a Waikiki cocktail?

The strength of a Waikiki cocktail depends on the amount of coconut rum used. In the standard Waikiki cocktail recipe, 1.5 oz of coconut rum is used. This, combined with the other ingredients, makes it a relatively light cocktail compared to other classic cocktails.

Is there a specific type of glass I should use when serving a Waikiki cocktail?

While the Waikiki cocktail is often served in a tiki-style glass or a hurricane glass, it can also be served in a tall glass or highball glass. The main thing is to ensure the glass is large enough to accommodate the cocktail and a good amount of ice.

Is the Waikiki cocktail similar to a Pina Colada?

While both cocktails incorporate pineapple and coconut flavors, they are different. The Waikiki cocktail uses coconut rum, whereas a Pina Colada uses rum and cream of coconut. Also, the Pina Colada is usually blended with ice to create a slushy consistency, while the Waikiki is served over ice.

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