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Offbeat Tiki Cocktails to Sip on This Summer

You can sip on tiki cocktails year round, but they’re that much better on the beach, poolside, or even just lounging on the couch in front of the AC on a hot summer day.

The tiki genre is a vast and eclectic sea of cocktail recipes, but most have the following characteristics in common: the use of rum, tropical fruits, citrus juices, and often exotic spices in the form of syrups, liqueurs, or bitters.

You can’t go wrong with a classic Mai Tai, but if you’re looking for something new and different, give one of these a try the next time you’re in the mood for something tropical.

Tiki Margarita

This fun, simple twist on a Margarita substitutes orange liqueur with orgeat (almond syrup). A fairly new addition to the tiki canon, it was invented in 2005 at Bar Tiki in Mexico City. I put my own little spin on it by adding some lemongrass bitters.


Instructions: Shake all ingredients with ice until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass or large cocktail glass filled with crushed ice and garnish with mint, lime, and a cherry.


This is not the sweet Scorpion Bowl you may have enjoyed with friends (or by yourself, I don’t judge) at your local Chinese restaurant. This Scorpion is refreshing and fairly light, made with rum, cognac, OJ, lemon, and orgeat. I decided to go with a variation that calls for pisco instead of cognac for an even lighter, fruity sip.


  • 1.5 oz white rum

  • .75 oz pisco (or cognac, in the original version)

  • 2 oz orange juice (freshly squeezed)

  • 1 oz lemon juice

  • .5 oz orgeat syrup

Instructions: Blend all ingredients with a cup of crushed ice and pour into a Collins glass or a large wine glass. Garnish with an orange wheel and a sprig of mint.

Pago Pago

This unusual cocktail has roots dating back to the ‘40s. The blend of rum, Chartreuse, and chocolate liqueur might seem odd at first, but it makes for a very enjoyable, complex cocktail. I’ve made it with both Green and Yellow Chartreuse, and I recommend both!


  • 2 chunks of pineapple

  • 1.5 oz gold rum

  • .5 oz Green Chartreuse (try Yellow for something a little less intense)

  • .5 oz white creme de cacao

  • .5 oz lime juice

Instructions: Muddle pineapple in a cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients and ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with pineapple, and an edible flower, if desired.

Honolulu #2

The Honolulu cocktail calls for white rum, pineapple juice, lemon, simple syrup, and grenadine, but I opted to replace the simple and grenadine with the brilliant color and flavor of hibiscus syrup and a pomegranate liqueur. Real grenadine is made with pomegranate juice, but most commercially available brands are little more than red-colored syrup (ew). My recommendation is to make your own or buy a premium brand like Liber & Co.


  • 1.5 oz white rum (also try it with tequila!)

  • 1 oz pineapple juice

  • .5 oz lemon juice

  • .25 oz hibiscus syrup

  • .25 oz pomegranate liqueur

Instructions: Blend all ingredients with one cup of crushed ice and pour into a large cocktail glass or wine glass. Garnish with a pineapple frond.

Fat Sailor

This one is potent and surprisingly easy to sip on! Coffee liqueur brings a bittersweet flavor to a heavy dose of rum with a squeeze of lime.


  • 1.5 oz aged rum

  • .75 oz overproof rum

  • .5 oz coffee liqueur

  • 1 oz lime juice

  • .5 oz simple syrup

Ingredients: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with lime and an edible flower, if desired.

You may also enjoy some more classic tiki drinks like the original Hurricane, Shark’s Tooth, Saturn, Corn ‘n Oil, or the Pina Colada.