Want to know where to go in Waikiki for happy hour? Or are you looking for the best bars for a mai tai? Here are our favorite Hawaiian-style drinks – and where to enjoy them.
Invented in 1957 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the Blue Hawaii was concocted by legendary bartender Harry Yee. Made with vodka, rum, pineapple juice, sweet & sour mix, and blue curacao, this handcrafted masterpiece is inspired by the color of the ocean fronting the resort. The Blue Hawaii has been recreated in thousands of bars all over the world, but there’s no better place to enjoy it than where it originated. Try it while taking in the nightly entertainment at Tropics Bar & Grill.
Created by cocktail connoisseur Trader Vic, the Mai Tai is synonymous with Hawaii. The iconic rum drink is a staple at any Waikiki bar. Where to find the best mai tai is a hot debate. Everyone has their favorites, but one of the best ways to enjoy this cool cocktail is on a sunset cruise. Setting sail on the beautiful waters fronting Waikiki Beach with a mai tai in hand is the perfect way to end your day in paradise.
If laying poolside and soaking in the Hawaiian sun is on your agenda, then head to Hang 10 Bar & Grill at Hilton Waikiki Beach. The daily happy hour from 12-2pm is a great excuse for day drinking. Try the Frozen Mo’o, a tropical spin on the Cuban classic. Bursting with coconut and fresh pressed lime juice, this frozen mojito is blended to a silky perfection.
Li Hing Margarita
Li hing mui, also known as Chinese crack seed, is a popular snack you can find throughout Hawaii. Its powerful sweet and sour flavor will turn your taste buds inside out. Li hing mui powder is often used to flavor a variety of foods and drinks, including the traditional margarita. You’ll find it at Trees Restaurant in the DoubleTree Hotel Alana Waikiki Beach. Stop by for happy hour for post-beach cocktails or gather with friends and sample the sharable menu of local-inspired cuisine, featuring Hawaiian-style hoisin short ribs and craft pizzas.
If you’re not a big drinker, you can still enjoy a fun mixed drink with all of the flavor minus the alcohol. Make your way to the Top of Waikiki, Hawaii’s only revolving restaurant, for a cool mocktail. Try the Hibiscus Tonic, a refreshing mix of local tea, lime and tonic. If not for anything else, you can sit and savor the 360-degree views of the city skyline.