Named after the historic Waikiki Beach hotel
We’re back from a cruise that took us from Hawaii to Tahiti. But our heads remain in vacation mode, so we’re still craving beach drinks.
Royal Hawaiian Cocktail to the rescue! It features tongue-tingling dry gin and lemon, plus pineapple juice for that tropical touch.
Recipe: The Royal Hawaiian Cocktail
The Royal Hawaiian Cocktail is one of the few gin-based Tiki drinks (rum is the most popular spirit for Tiki cocktails). Combine that gin with pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orgeat syrup, and you have a pleasant sipper that’s perfect for relaxing poolside. Or enjoying by a crackling fire when you want to remember summer’s warmth.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and serves 1.
- 1½ ounces dry gin
- 1½ ounces unsweetened pineapple juice
- ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ ounce orgeat syrup (actually, anything from 1 teaspoon to ½ ounce, to taste)
- lemon twist for garnish (very optional)
- Place all ingredients (except garnish) in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the contents are well chilled – about 20 seconds.
- Strain into a cocktail glass or coupe (preferably one that has been chilled). Garnish, if you wish, and serve.
- This drink is also good served over ice in a rocks (Old-Fashioned) glass.
- Garnish isn’t traditional for this cocktail, but we like to add a lemon twist. A lemon wedge would also be nice.
- Any name-brand dry gin will work in this drink.
- Canned pineapple juice is probably the easiest option for making this drink. We buy it in small cans – they hold the right amount of juice for a couple of cocktails.
- Orgeat is a sweet almond-flavored syrup (it also contains orange flower water or rose water). You can find orgeat in most good liquor stores or buy it online.
- Just substitute almond syrup if you can’t find orgeat.
- The Royal Hawaiian Hotel is located in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu. It opened in 1927 as one of the first luxury hotels on Waikiki Beach.
- The Royal Hawaiian Cocktail was originally called the Princess Kaiulani, but was renamed in the 1950s. It served as the hotel’s signature drink throughout much of its history (though today that honor is held by another classic Tiki drink, the Mai Tai).
South Sea Sojourn
“Swell drink,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “And what a swell vacation!”
“Sure was,” I said. “We started off in Honolulu. Saw Pearl Harbor and climbed the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail. Then sailed to Hilo, on the Big Island.”
“Where we visited Volcanoes National Park,” said Mrs K R. “And saw Kilauea, which is still making her power felt.”
“Then sailed the Pacific for 4 days, enjoying great lectures along the way on Polynesian culture, coral reefs, and other interesting topics,” I said. “Then reached Nuku Hiva.”
“Where Herman Melville was inspired to write his first novel, Typee,” said Mrs K R.
“And on to the atoll of Fakarava,” I said.
“Population 837,” said Mrs K R.
“Then visited the islands of Bora Bora, Raiatea, and Moorea,” I said. “Lots of fun tours, off-road adventures, and dolphin watching.”
“Moorea might be the prettiest place I’ve ever seen,” said Mrs K R.
“And finally ended up in Papeete, on the island of Tahiti,” I said.
“Where we took a jeep safari up into the mountains to look at waterfalls,” said Mrs K R. “And the next day sat on a beautiful black-sand beach, watching the waves roll in while the palms swayed in the breeze.”
“The only rough part was the long flight home,” I said.
“That was less than fun,” said Mrs K R.
“Which is why we needed one of these when we finally got home,” I said, raising my glass.
“I might need another one right now,” said Mrs K R.
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