Do-It-Yourself Mai Tai Cocktail From The Halekulani Hotel: A Summer Treat For These Frigid, Winter Months

I hate to express any bias when it comes to cocktails because quite frankly I love them all, but I have to admit that with this frigid January weather I’m really beginning to miss those flavorful, tropics-inspired cocktails. Now I love your hot buttered rum’s and spiked egg nog’s just as much as the next lush, but there’s something about a great Mai Tai or margarita that seems to transport the senses. Luckily, for Lushworthy’s first ever guest post, travel writer/expert Kendra Thornton is here with an amazing cocktail recipe that’s sure to transport you to the balmy beaches of Hawaii. This particular cocktail happens to be the famed Mai Tai from the Halekulani Hotel’s The House Without A Key and you can find a few welcomed words from Kendra as well as a recipe for the Mai Tai below.

During these winter months I find myself thinking about my travels to where I was catching sun and enjoying the breeze alongside warm ocean tides. It takes me back to my relaxing trip at the Halekulani Hotel on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii I took a while back with my husband.

This luxurious hotel with beautiful oceanfront views was highly recommended, and I wish I could have shared my experience with all my friends and family. Waking up to the sounds of seagulls and ocean waves on a sunny day in a large, spacious hotel room is something I could get used to easily. Going to their stunning pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean nearby, hearing beautiful performances by talented locals nightly, drinking creative cocktails in the beautiful piano bar we could all get used to.

Unfortunately, no vacation lasts forever and the east coast doesn’t exactly have the perfect weather year round that Hawaii does or the amazing scuba-diving and picturesque beaches. But as the old saying goes, fake it until you make it! I decided we needed to bring a piece of Hawaii back home with us to share with our friends. I’m not talking about normal Hawaiian souvenirs such as a volcanic rock or flower-patterned t-shirts. I’m talking about something our friends will really enjoy, an amazing Hawaiian cocktail!

I fell in love with this drink from The House Without a Key and I’m convinced you will too. One sip and you will be transformed from the busy, loud concrete jungle of the east coast to the relaxing, beautiful atmosphere of Waikiki Beach. The recipe uses ingredients commonly found in Hawaiian cocktails in a perfectly blended balance of alcohol and sweetness. Be forewarned, the effects of this drink may cause you to want to quit your job on the mainland and convert to the island lifestyle permanently!

What I found is where you eat and what you’re drinking on any vacation is just as important as where you rest your head at night. So, I hope you enjoy this treat! Best served on a sunny, summer day; however, whose to say your own living room won’t do the trick even if its 20 degrees out! Aloha!

Halekulani Mai Tai


1/3-Ounce Orgeat Syrup

1/3 Ounce Orange Curaçao

1/3-Ounce Rock Candy Syrup

3/4-Ounce Bacardi Gold Rum

1/2-Ounce Bacardi 151 Rum

1 1/4 Ounce Fresh Lime Juice

3/4 Ounce Bacardi Select (float)


Build over crushed ice and float with 3/ 4 ounce of Bacardi Select Rum. Garnish with lime wheel, sugar cane stick, mint leaf, and Vanda orchid.

Thanks again to Kendra Thornton for a great guest post and be sure to follow Kendra on Twitter for amazing travel tips.