your hawaiian vacation may be over but your enjoyment of tropical cocktails doesn’t have to be! the amazing hotel wailea staff taught us how to make their lilikoi mai tai at home with 7 easy steps & i’ve been sipping away this liquid sunshine ever since we made it back to the mainland. read on & make one of these delicious island cocktails asap – you SO won’t be sorry! cheers!
as it of course would turn out, mai tais are *kind of a big deal* in wailea. hotel wailea had its variation, as did all of the other resorts & restaurants we visited throughout our stay. inevitably, i had to order one.
& let me tell you. i am so glad i got over myself because it was love at first sip.
a healthy dose of rum & pineapple – a mai tai is seriously hawaii in a glass.
as if a mai tai could get even more quintessentially hawaiian, bartender james’ piece de resistance was his signature lilikoi mai tai. lilikoi is hawaiian passion fruit & is a flavor that is so local you can even buy its juice in cans as readily as you could buy orange juice on the mainland. sweet with the perfect amount of tang, lilikoi is by far my favorite hawaiian flavor.
james broke down for us the steps to make a lilikoi mai tai & it is such a simple process that this cocktail is beyond easy to replicate at home on the mainland. you need seven essential ingredients: white rum, amaretto, pineapple juice, fruit juice, lime juice, dark rum, & a garnish.
start by combining the first 5 essential ingredients (white rum, nut liqueur, & all 3 juices) in a cocktail shaker with ice.
since fresh passion fruit is not readily available in minnesota, i always use a concentrate or syrup. possmei is the best i have found & guess what: you can ship it straight to your house too. (winning!)
since syrups tend to taste very concentrated & easily overwhelm whatever other flavors you’re combining them with, i dilute my possmei passion fruit syrup 1:1 with water in a mason jar & shake it up for a perfectly not-too-sweet syrup full of lilikoi flavor.
shake, shake, shake. shake, shake. shake some more. keep shaking while you think about the calories you’re burning. keep shaking while your arms start to get sore. then keep shaking a little while longer until … presto.
the result of all of your hard work is tropical, creamy liquid gold in the form of a mai tai.
serve in a rocks glass filled with ice, top with a float of dark rum (i.e. pour dark rum over the top of the mai tai verrrrrrrry slowly) & garnish with some slices of lime, diced pineapple, & a big ol’ sprig of fresh mint.
close your eyes, take a sip, & pretend you’re in hawaii, because friends, this is heaven.
my oh mai tai, come to mama!
so…i’d love to know: what’s the favorite vacation treat you learned to replicate at home? let me know in with a comment below!
- 1/2 oz white rum
- 1/2 oz amaretto (or other nut liquer)
- 1 oz fresh lime juice (approximately 1 lime, juiced)
- 3 oz pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz lilikoi syrup (diluted 1:1 with water - so 1 oz total)
- 2 oz dark rum
- pineapple, fresh mint & lime for garnish
- in a cocktail shaker, combine white rum, amaretto, lime juice, pineapple juice, & lilikoi syrup over ice.
- shake vigorously for 1 minute.
- strain cocktail into a rocks glass with ice.
- very gently pour the 2 oz float of dark rum.
- garnish with fresh pineapple, fresh mint & lime.