Singapore Sling. Long Island Iced Tea. Moscow Mule. Manhattan. Cape Cod. Blue Hawaii. Chicago Fizz. Cuba Libre. Alabama Slammer. Mexican Martini. London Fog.
Notice anything familiar here? These internationally recognized cocktails were all inspired by a location – and maybe a desire for a better buzz – and we think it’s high time Maui earned a spot on the worldly drink list. While we are fortunate enough to live on an island with an abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables and craft cocktail ingredients, we think it’s a shame there’s currently no Maui-inspired cocktails popping up on bar menus in some of our favorite destinations.
And you know what they say… it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. Wait, that’s a whole different saying. The point is, we’re creating some Maui-inspired cocktails of our own, and you’re going to love them.
Maui Inspired Cocktails
From volcanic craters to thick jungles to black sand beaches, there’s plenty to work with when it comes to creating a cocktail menu based on some of The Valley Isle’s most inspirational landscapes.
House of the Sun
INSPIRATION: Haleakala Volcano
INSTRUCTIONS: Soak the cinnamon stick in whiskey and set aside. Combine whiskey, pineapple juice and bitters in a shaker, over ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into coupe glass and add cherry. Add cinnamon stick to glass and light on fire.
Inspired by the fiery colors of the sky from the summit of Haleakala Volcano, we love the smoky flavors of the cinnamon in this cocktail, and soaking it in the whiskey allows it to smoke less and the fire to last longer. Sip this delicious cocktail after watching the sunset (or sunrise, if you’re ambitious), and pair it with your favorite tropical dessert.
INSPIRATION: Pa’iloa Beach, Maui’s black sand beach at Wai’anapanapa State Park
INGREDIENTS: 1 1/4 oz Ocean Organic Vodka, 1 pinch activated charcoal, 3/4 oz peach juice, 1/2 oz lime juice, 1/4 oz honey or agave nectar.
INSTRUCTIONS: Combine all ingredients in a shaker, over ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into coupe glass and garnish with a small slice of peach.
One of our top recommended beaches on Maui due to its distinct black color and gorgeous natural surroundings, this Pa’iloa inspired craft cocktail is created with Maui made vodka and one of the newest ingredient trends in the craft scene – activated charcoal. While you should avoid consuming it with any other pills, as well as directly before or after a meal, it also has a beneficial health ingredients. Pair this peachy gem with a nice view and you’re set for success.
INSPIRATION: The surf break off of Papalaua Beach Park in west Maui, also known as Thousand Peaks
INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 oz Fid Street Gin, 1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 lilikoi, 3/4 oz egg white
INSTRUCTIONS: Mix all ingredients in a shaker without ice, and shake vigorously. Add ice and shake again. Strain into coupe glass, making sure you have a thick layer of foam on top.
Hawaii is known for its long, intertwined history with surfing, and Maui’s Thousand Peaks is one of the most consistent and fun local places to give it a go. Pack up the cooler with your surf inspired ingredients – including the egg whites that foam up to look deliciously similar to all that frothy white wash – and head out for a day of beachy goodness with friends and family. This Maui-made gin is one of the newest craft liquor additions to the island, and well worth a try paired with tangy lilikoi and lemons.
INSPIRATION: Pipiwai Trail, located on the back side of Haleakala National Park near ‘Ohe’o Pools.
INSTRUCTIONS: Fill highball glass with ice, and pour ginger beer into glass. Pour in IPA. Combine rum and lime juice in shaker, over ice, and shake to chill. Strain into glass and garnish with lime wedge.
The most well known bamboo forest hike on Maui, Pipiwai Trail is a must for nature enthusiasts. Passing through banyan trees and a towering bamboo trail, the hike ends at the cascading 200 foot Waimoku Falls. Inspired by the greenery of the lush jungle surroundings of this hike, we created a delectable IPA and rum cocktail, made with one of Maui Brewing Co.’s best sellers and a locally-made Maui ginger beer.
Pu’u O Rye
INSPIRATION: Pu’u Olai, the 360 foot cinder cone located in Makena State Park, separating Big Beach, Little Beach & Black Sand Beach.
INGREDIENTS: 2 oz Bulleit Rye Whiskey, 3/4 oz fresh lime juice, 1/2 oz fresh blood orange juice, 3/4 oz ginger-infused simple syrup, 1 oz club soda
INSTRUCTIONS: Combine all ingredients except club soda into shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice, and top with club soda. Garnish with candied ginger and blood orange wedge.
Inspired by the red(ish), brown(ish) dirt found on Pu’u Olai as you cross the hill from Big Beach to Little Beach – if you dare – we created this fresh rye whiskey cocktail with blood orange, lime juice, and a dash of ginger to give it an extra kick. Pair it with your favorite Hawaiian dish for the best results.
Mahalo for reading our recommendations of Maui-inspired cocktails, and if you happen to be a bartender (or just an at-home mixologist), let us know how you like these Valley Isle craft wonders! A hui hou, and don’t forget to sign up for our Maui Craft Tours email list for special event reminders, discounts and more. Aloha!