Best Hawaiian Luau Cocktails & Tropical Party Drinks

Aloha, party people! I’m here to shake things up for your next luau party!

Planning a Hawaiian luau party and in need of some tropical drinks? I’ve got your back!

If there’s one thing I learned from college, it’s how to throw a good party. And while that might not be the best thing to admit, it’s served me well over the years—wink wink. 

Planning a Hawaiian Luau:

Hawaiian luau parties celebrate Hawaiian culture, music, food, and, most importantly, fun! Here’s why they’re such a blast:

  • Festive Atmosphere: Luaus typically occur outdoors in warmer weather, with twinkling lights to set the mood. This creates a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.
  • Lively Entertainment: Traditional Hawaiian music with ukuleles and hula dancing are staples of a luau.
  • Delicious Food: Hawaiian cuisine is a delicious mix of Polynesian and Asian influences. Expect a feast with grilled meats like kalua pig, fresh seafood dishes like poke, and tasty sides like haupia (coconut pudding).
  • Aloha Spirit: The core Hawaiian value of “Aloha” emphasizes hospitality, kindness, and respect. 
  • Tropical Cocktails: Luaus typically feature refreshing cocktails. The sweet and fruity flavors pair wonderfully with the savory and rich Hawaiian dishes. On a warm evening, refreshing cocktails are perfect for keeping cool throughout the festivities.

luau cocktails-Tropical Drinks

The Best Liquors for Tropical Drinks

  1. Rum: Rum is the king of tropical cocktails! It comes in various styles, such as light rum, dark rum, white rum, and coconut rum.
  2. Vodka: While not as common as rum, vodka’s neutral flavor profile makes it a good choice for lighter tropical drinks like the Blue Hawaiian.
  3. Tequila: Though not traditionally Hawaiian, tequila is a good fit for some tropical cocktails, particularly the Pineapple Margarita.
  4. Liqueurs: Various liqueurs add unique flavors to tropical drinks. Some popular choices include coconut liqueur (Malibu Rum) and orange curacao.

Everything You Need for Tropical Drinks

Fruit Juices and Purees

Tropical Drinks typically use one or more of the following juices:

  • Pineapple Juice
  • Orange Juice:
  • Mango Juice
  • Passion Fruit Juice
  • Guava Juice
  • Fruit Purees


​Sweeten up your drinks with one of these choices:

  • Simple Syrup: A classic choice for sweetening cocktails, made by dissolving sugar in water.
  • Fruit-flavored Syrups: Pineapple, guava, or passion fruit syrups add sweetness and a touch of fruit flavor.

Other Flavorful Ingredients:

​Jazz up your drink with even more ingredients.

  • Lime Juice
  • Coconut Cream/Milk
  • Cream of Coconut
  • Grenadine
  • Fresh Herbs (mint, basil) 
  • Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice)


Elevate the presentation of your drink with pretty garnishes.

  • Fruity Additions: Pineapple wedges, orange slices, or maraschino cherries 
  • Edible Flowers: Hibiscus flowers or orchids 
  • Paper Umbrellas: A classic luau touch


Don’t forget your glassware! Tropical drinks can be served in a variety of cocktail glasses.

  • Hurricane Glass: This iconic curved glass with a wide mouth is a popular choice for many tropical drinks due to its large size, allowing for plenty of crushed ice and vibrant garnishes.
  • Collins Glass: This tall, slender glass is suited for lighter tropical drinks served on the rocks (with fresh ice) or chilled without ice.
  • Margarita Glass: This wide-mouthed, V-shaped glass with a salted rim is perfect for tropical variations of margaritas.
  • Martini Glass: Some tropical cocktails may be served in a classic martini glass for an elegant touch.

Hawaiian luau cocktails

Hawaiian Luau Tropical Cocktails

Now that you understand the basics of tropical drinks, I’m excited to share my list of go-to tropical drinks. Grab your cocktail shaker, and lots of ice, and let’s get this tropical party started!

Mai Tai: Created by the legendary bartender Harry Yee at Trader Vic’s in the 1940s, the classic Mai Tai is a true luau classic. This rum-based cocktail features a blend of sweet and tart flavors with a touch of almond, thanks to the addition of orgeat syrup.

Piña Colada: This iconic drink, born in Puerto Rico’s heart, symbolizes tropical relaxation. Its perfect blend of fresh pineapple juice, white rum, and cream of coconut creates a creamy and sweet concoction that’ll have you on Island Time in just a few sips. I love adding a splash of grenadine for a layered “sunset” effect in the glass.

Blue Hawaiian Cocktail:  This eye-catching drink is a crowd-pleaser. It’s perfect for poolside gatherings and luau parties. The Blue Hawaiian gets its vibrant blue hue thanks to a splash of blue curaçao. Just blend pineapple juice, blue curacao, vodka, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice for a refreshingly tropical concoction.

Hawaiian Margarita: Swap tequila for light rum to create a tropical twist on the classic Mexican margarita. Add a splash of pineapple juice for an unmistakable Hawaiian touch, and garnish with a vibrant pineapple wedge for a festive touch.

Tropical Itch: This fun and tangy cocktail is perfect for a hot day. Combine pineapple 

juice, orange juice, passion fruit juice, and a dash of grenadine for a truly refreshing luau drink.

Hawaiian Mimosas: Kicking things off early? Combine pineapple juice, orange juice, and a splash of grenadine with your favorite sparkling wine for a light and bubbly brunch option. 

Tropical Rum Punch: This versatile punch recipe is easily customizable. Combine pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine, and your preferred rum. I love adding a splash of ginger ale for an extra kick of fizz.

Haupia Cocktail:  Named after a traditional Hawaiian dessert made with coconut milk, this creamy and refreshing drink features white rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream, and a touch of vanilla extract.

Bahama Mama: This fruity and potent rum punch combines light and dark rums with pineapple juice, orange juice, grenadine, and a splash of grenadine for a complex and delicious party drink. It’s a perfect choice for adventurous cocktail enthusiasts.

Hawaiian Margaritas:  Give your classic margarita a tropical twist with a splash of pineapple juice. Garnish this vibrant concoction with a lime wedge for a touch of citrusy zest.

Lava Flow: Take your Piña Colada to the next level with a Lava Flow. This vibrant cocktail combines the creamy sweetness of the Piña Colada with the fiery kick of fresh or frozen strawberries. Add your preferred amount of strawberries to your Piña Colada recipe, blend it all, and watch the “lava” flow!

Aloha and Mahalo!

I hope my tropical Hawaiian cocktail list has inspired you to throw the luau party of your dreams! 

With these drinks in your arsenal, you’re well on your way to hosting a gathering filled with good times, good company, and plenty of tropical flair.  Which cocktail recipe will be your favorite?

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments