As the most isolated population center on earth, the Hawaiian Islands are unique everything from our culture and weather to beverages we consume. From mai tais to Kona coffee and everything in between, these 11 beverages are sure to make your mouth water. While a few of these iconic drinks find their origins in other countries, or have made their way to the mainland, here are 11 uniquely Hawaiian beverages – and where to order them.
1. Sip authentic Kona Coffee at Greenwell Farms.
Only grown in a small section of fertile volcanic soil on Hawaii Island’s Kona coast, Kona coffee is definitely a cut above any coffee you can find, well, pretty much anywhere – and nowhere will you find a better cup of authentic Kona coffee than at the famous Greenwell Farms. Established in 1850, visitors can drink coffee while they learn about each stage of production of Kona Coffee on this historic farm. Anyone can stop by the farm to take a personal walking tour through the coffee fields and the processing facilities.
2. Enjoy a guava or pineapple mimosa at Restaurant 604.
With stunning views of Pearl Harbor and amazing breakfast food, there's no better spot for an epic weekend brunch than Restaurant 604. Be sure to grab a flight of mimosas to go with your guava pancakes or kalua pork hash. The flight comes with three scrumptious mimosas: the traditional orange juice, as well as guava and pineapple varieties… yum!
3. There’s little more iconic than a Mai Tai from Monkeypod Kitchen…
Ah, the mai tai: the classic tropical alcoholic beverage that instantly comes to mind when someone mentions drinking on the beach in Hawaii. While there are countless restaurants and bars with mai tais on the menu, the best ones come from Monkeypod Kitchen and are served with a delicious lilikoi foam floating on top.
4. ...except maybe a Blue Hawaii served from the place it was first created, of course!
The legendary Henry Yee, a bartender at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, created this iconic Hawaiian drink when Elvis was filming the 1961 classic, "Blue Hawaii," at the hotel. With a signature blue color, pineapple wedge, and cocktail umbrella, Yee’s variation of the drink is slightly different than the one that’s popular today. With rum, pineapple juice, Curacao, sweet and sour mix - and sometimes vodka, this is one of the most iconic beverages you’ll find in Hawaii.
5. Don’t forget about lava flows made by Duke’s.
With several locations across the Hawaiian Islands - and in Califoria - Duke’s is easily one of the most well-known tourist hangouts in the state - and for good reason! Named after the famous Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, a Hawaiian legend, this iconic restaurant is known for their decadent hula pie, awesome food, and yes, the lava flows. Made with strawberries, banana, rum, and coconut creme, this classic Hawaiian drink is sure to satisfy your craving for a pina colada - with a twist, of course.
6. You’ll fall in love with Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade.
Made from locally sourced ingredients like Hawaii Island lemons and Maui lavender, there's nothing better after a long day of exploring than a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade. The handcrafted, gourmet lemonades come in a variety of flavors, including watermelon basil, lilikoi strawberry, li hing mui, mango pineapple.
7. Indulge your sweet tooth at Volcano Shakes.
Described as "an erupting milkshake experience you’ll never forget," the shakes served at Volcano Shakes are easily the most decadent dessert you’ll find on the island of Oahu, and if we might add, quite Instagram-worthy as well. With a base of rich, house-made ice cream made in small batches and a variety of yummy toppings piled on top, these thick, creamy milkshakes stand at nearly a foot tall.
8. Quench your thirst with pineapple juice from the Dole Plantation.
If there’s one food that represents the Hawaiian Islands, it is the pineapple. And nowhere will you find better pineapple - and fresh pineapple juice - than the historic Dole Plantation. James Dole, who purchased the 61-acre land parcel in 1900, was the first person to truly understand the pineapple’s potential, and became known across the United States as the Pineapple King. The plantation offers activities for the whole family in addition to their mouthwatering pineapple juice and Dole Whip – take a ride on the Pineapple express for young children, make your way through the world’s largest (pineapple) maze or go on a tour of the garden.
9. You won’t want to miss out on the Hawaiian Punch served at Pineapple’s Island Fresh Cuisine.
Hawaiian Punch is easily the most famous beverage served throughout the Hawaiian Islands to make it to the mainland. It has become a well-known "juice" brand, after all. While you’ll find non-alcoholic varieties of this island classic, the drink served at Pineapple’s Island Fresh Cuisine is definitely alcoholic, though the strong liquor taste is definitely masked by all the delicious fruit juice.
10. The Li Hing Mui Margarita at Cholo’s is to-die-for.
This one’s a personal recommendation. Located on Oahu’s north shore in the sleepy surfing town of Haleiwa is Cholo’s Homestyle Mexican Restaurant, a hole in the wall eatery known for burritos and tacos - as well as their massive margaritas. While I’ve loved every margarita I’ve tried at Cholo’s, there’s nothing better than their delicious li hing margarita, a magnificent drink that combines the Mexican margarita with a classic Hawaiian flavor.
11. Enjoy an Island Latte from Island Vintage Coffee.
With six Oahu locations and one on Maui, Island Vintage Coffee is known for their Kona coffee, but we are personally obsessed with their Island Latte, a unique espresso drink with hints of coconut and macadamia nut - the perfect Hawaiian drink to enjoy - perhaps the morning after you’ve indulged in too many mai tais or lava flows?