Modern Caribbean Rum

Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide

Updated Dec. 25, 2023
JUMP BELOW: Latest events | Quarts & gallons to go | Recent updates
THE DRINKS: Okole Maluna Society | Rankings, reviews, recipes | Lost cocktails | Mai-Kai menu
Archive: Seminars & presentations | Events | News coverage

The Mai-Kai restoration guide
MAI-KAI RESTORATION GUIDE
We’ve moved all the stories, photos and social media updates related to the multimillion-dollar renovation and refurbishment of The Mai-Kai to its own dedicated page. Click above or below for the inside scoop on the return of the Polynesian palace, plus an archive of past coverage.
>>> LATEST NEWS, PHOTOS AND OFFICIAL INFO

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NEW AND UPDATED REVIEWS AND RECIPES

A tribute to The Mai-Kai's Barrel Before Christmas
NEW RECIPE: A tribute to The Mai-Kai’s Barrel Before Christmas
The story behind the legendary Polynesian restaurant’s seasonal Rum Barrel, introduced in 2019.
RELATED: The 12 Days of Christmas, Mai-Kai style

NEW RECIPES: A frightening flight of deadly cocktails for Halloween 2023
A frightening flight of deadly cocktails for Halloween 2023
Get ready for a some deadly drinks with a dark and foreboding flair, just in time for the spooky season.
Inspired by The Mai-Kai: The Black Magic Cocktail | Shrunken Pumpkin Head

Lost Cocktails of The Mai-Kai: Classic Daiquiri lost favor when Cuba fell, but influence endures
Lost Cocktails of The Mai-Kai: Classic Daiquiri lost favor when Cuba fell, but influence endures
Revisit The Mai-Kai’s version of a classic, including a recently unveiled recipe that links back to Don the Beachcomber.
>>> UPDATED HISTORY & REVIEW | AUTHENTIC RECIPE

The Derby Daiquiri: The Mai-Kai’s ‘$100,000 drink’ is worth its weight in gold
The Derby Daiquiri: The Mai-Kai’s ‘$100,000 drink’ is worth its weight in gold
A deep dive into the fascinating history of the cocktail that made The Mai-Kai and its head mixologist famous.
>>> UPDATED HISTORY, REVIEW AND MORE
Tribute recipe | The Derby Daiquiri on Spike’s Breezeway Cocktail Hour

LATEST SPECIAL EVENTS

The Mai-Kai at Tiki Oasis
The Mai-Kai and The Atomic Grog at Tiki Oasis
We were proud to present two special seminars at the world’s original Tiki weekender in San Diego, including The Derby Daiquiri and Beyond: How to Create Your Own Classic.
* FULL INFO ON THE SEMINARS
Live at Tiki Oasis: Latest event coverage, photos on social media

The Hukilau highlights: Photos and memories from 2023 Tiki weekender in South Florida
The Hukilau highlights: Photos and memories from Tiki weekender
The 21st annual event featured four days of nonstop music, cocktails and education on modern and historic Polynesian Pop at the oceanfront Beachcomber Resort in South Florida.
* IMAGES FROM THE HUKILAU 2023
* RELATED: The Hukilau 2023 live coverage, photos and video from social media

SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES

Follow The Atomic Grog: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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QUARTS AND GALLONS TO GO

The Mai-Kai cocktails to go
The Mai-Kai takeout cocktails
While we await the completion of refurbishments and the grand reopening, The Mai-Kai’s famous tropical drinks will be available on various dates throughout the year. You can also pick up bottles of the restaurant’s signature rums and new cocktail T-shirts.

NOTE: Selection and prices are based on past sales. The next takeout opportunity is to be announced.

2023 takeout menu (prices include tax)
* Barrel O’ Rum (gallon $95, quart $30)
* Black Magic (gallon $95, quart $30)
* Mai Tai (gallon $142, quart $40)
* Jet Pilot (gallon $156, quart $44)
* The Real McCoy 12-year-old Distillers Proof Mai-Kai Blend (750 ML bottle $85.60)

The Mai-Kai's sherry cask finished rum from Papa's Pilar

The Mai-Kai’s sherry cask finished rum from Papa’s Pilar
New for 2023, toast the summer and the upcoming grand reopening with a bottle of a new rum from The Mai-Kai and Florida’s Papa’s Pilar. Finished in Spanish sherry casks, this premium blended rum is limited to one barrel specially selected by The Mai-Kai team. The rum was sourced from Florida, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama and Barbados. It was distilled in pot and column stills, then solera blended in Bourbon barrels, port wine casks and Spanish sherry casks.
* The Mai-Kai Papa’s Pilar Spanish Sherry Cask Rum (750 ML bottle, $65)

The Mai-Kai's Shrunken Skull T-shirt

Limited release Rum Barrel and Shrunken Skull T-shirts
Designed by California-based artist Eric October, these screen-printed vintage black shirts come in both men’s and women’s styles. The images of the iconic drinks, which will be featured on The Mai-Kai’s new menu, were hand painted and reproduced using nine colors to retain the richness of the original artwork. The shirts are a premium tri-blend (cotton/poly/rayon) that is soft and comfortable. The shirts are available in limited supplies, available only for pickup at The Mai-Kai.
* Men’s: Medium through XL ($35), 2X-3X ($38)
* Women’s (crew style with baby rib collar): Small through XL ($35), 2X ($38)
Coming soon: Mara-Amu T-shirts

Upcoming pickup dates to be announced

Please drink responsibly. Okole maluna!

The Mai-Kai official sites and social media
* MaiKai.com | MaiKaiTradingPost.com
Twitter | Facebook: Official page | Friends of The Mai-Kai group
Instagram: Restaurant | The Molokai bar | Trading Post

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RECENTLY UPDATED REVIEWS AND RECIPES

Mai-Kai cocktail review: Cobra's Kiss is an exotic taste explosion guaranteed to strike your fancy
As featured at The Hukilau 2023
Cobra’s Kiss: An exotic taste explosion guaranteed to strike your fancy
Barrel O’ Rum: The Rodney Dangerfield of tropical drinks

VIDEO: Spike’s Breezeway Cocktail Hour live at The Hukilau with Garret Richard and Hurricane Hayward

The Mai-Kai's deadly Halloween quarts and gallons, plus more great moments in Zombie cocktail history
The Mai-Kai’s deadly Zombie resurrected for Halloween, along with mysterious legend
The iconic cocktail was available for the first time since the historic restaurant closed after an October 2020 storm, and for the first time in takeout quarts and gallons.

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Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide

Follow our never-ending journey through the classic cocktail menu at The Mai-Kai in South Florida with exclusive tribute recipes, ancestor recipes for lost classics, plus new special features. Check back often and be sure to click on the reviews to add your own ratings and comments.

JUMP BELOW
The drinks: Cocktail rankings, reviews, recipes
Lost cocktails: Retired drink reviews, ratings, recipes
At The Mai-Kai: List of drinks on the current menu
SEE ALSO: All 100+ Mai-Kai cocktail recipes | All 240+ Atomic Grog recipes

Okole Maluna Society membership card
Okole Maluna Society membership card.

THE OKOLE MALUNA SOCIETY

The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale is widely recognized as having perhaps the best authentic tropical drinks in the world. The cocktail menu remains virtually unchanged since its opening in 1956 and most of the classic recipes date back to the original Tiki drinks invented by Don the Beachcomber in the 1930s and ’40s.

In the early years, The Mai-Kai had a club called the Okole Maluna (pronounced Oh-koh-lay Mah-loo-nah) Society. Okole Maluna is a traditional Hawaiian toast that means “Bottom’s Up!” To become a member of the society, you had to sample every one of the drinks on the menu and have them checked off your membership card. Once you joined the club, you were given access to a special off-menu drink. See more on the society and the menu on Swanky’s Mai-Kai history site.

Hurricane Hayward and the Okole Maluna Society menu.
Hurricane Hayward and the Okole Maluna Society menu.

The society no longer exists, but we resurrected it here on The Atomic Grog. We sampled all of the current drinks (and most of the retired cocktails), then ranked them on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Following the rankings you’ll also find the drinks listed by category as they appear on the menu. For 52 weeks, from June 2011 until June 2012, we posted detailed reviews (with photos) of all the cocktails on the menu, plus a few off the menu, as well as some classics that are no longer offered. They’re all listed below with hyperlinks to the reviews and an archive of more than 100 recipes. In the ensuring years, we’ve continually posted updates and new recipes, keeping this guide fresh and up-to-date.

This online guide serves two useful purposes. It gives Mai-Kai patrons a richly detailed and authoritative tool to help choose a cocktail, and also offer feedback. There’s a poll linked to every drink that lets you rate them, in addition to leaving comments. It’s also an essential resource for home mixologists, giving Tiki drink aficionados exclusive access to a vast archive of recipes.

Okole Maluna Society menu from The Mai-Kai
Okole Maluna Society menu from The Mai-Kai.

These include some authentic Mai-Kai recipes along with “tribute” drinks from The Atomic Grog and others in the Tiki community. But many of the true recipes remain a puzzle. You see, the aura of these mysterious drinks is created by the fact that they’re for the most part top-secret recipes (in the tradition of Don the Beachcomber) that have never been revealed. The cocktails are created in back bars, away from public view. We’ve also included many of the original Donn Beach recipes that inspired The Mai-Kai’s legendary mixologist, Mariano Licudine.

We’ll be continually enhancing this guide with new recipes, history, photos and behind-the-scene stories, so be sure to check the links in the updates section above. We hope this pays proper homage to The Mai-Kai, a one-of-a-kind mid-century marvel, and its amazing cocktails that top even those at the trendiest craft cocktail bar today.

Okole maluna!

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MORE RESOURCES

DOWNLOADS
* Printable checklist of The Atomic Grog’s Mai-Kai cocktail ratings (PDF)
* Printable checklist of The Mai-Kai cocktail ancestry (PDF)

Join The Grogalizer!
Our tribute recipes are being added to the essential database of Tiki cocktail reviews. Help boost our ratings. It’s quick and easy to sign up.
* Go to The Grogalizer now

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THE ATOMIC GROG’S MAI-KAI DRINK RATINGS
(Click on hyperlinks for full reviews and recipes)
{recipe}= Official recipe / {ancestor} = Ancestor recipe / {tribute} = Tribute recipe
DOWNLOAD: Printable checklist of the ratings (PDF)

The Mai-Kai's original cocktail menu from 1956-57
The Mai-Kai’s original cocktail menu from 1956-57.

5 stars
1 – Zombie (strong) {ancestors / tribute}

4 1/2 stars

2 – Shark Bite (medium)
{ancestor / tribute}

3 – 151 Swizzle (strong)
{ancestor / tribute}

4 – Special Planters Punch (strong) {ancestor / tribute}

4 stars

5 – Barrel O’ Rum (strong) {recipe / tribute}

6 (tie) – Sidewinder’s Fang (strong) {ancestor}
Mystery Drink (strong) {ancestor}

7 – Jet Pilot (strong) {ancestors / tribute}

8 – Cobra’s Kiss (medium) {ancestor / tribute}

9 – Rum Julep (medium) {ancestor / tribute}

10 – Mutiny (strong) {tribute}

11 – Shrunken Skull (strong) {ancestor / official / tribute}

12 – Yeoman’s Grog (strong) {ancestor / tribute}

13 – The Hukilau (strong) {tribute}

Mai-Kai cocktail review: The Black Magic emerges from the darkness as a true classic
Mai-Kai cocktail review: The Black Magic emerges from the darkness as a true classic

3 1/2 stars

14 – Black Magic (strong) {tribute}

15 – Mai Tai (strong) {tribute}

16 – Suffering Bastard (strong) {tribute}

17 – Piña Passion (medium) {ancestor / tribute}

18 – Samoan Grog (mild)
{ancestor / tribute}

19 – Zula #1 and #2 (strong)
{ancestor / tributes}

20 – K.O. Cooler (strong)
{ancestors / tribute}

21 – Special Reserve Daiquiri (medium)
{ancestor / tribute}

22 – S.O.S. (mild) {ancestor / tribute}

23 – Deep Sea Diver (medium)
{ancestor / tribute}

24 – Moonkist Coconut (medium) {recipe}

25 – Bora Bora (strong) {ancestor / tribute}

26 – Hidden Pearl (medium)
{ancestor / tribute}

27 – Tahitian Breeze (medium) {ancestors / tribute}

28 – Mara-Amu (medium) {recipe}

29 (tie) – Chocolate Snowflake (after dinner) {tribute}
Mai-Kai Blizzard (after dinner) {tribute}

The Mai-Kai's Kona Coffee Grog was featured on Jim Stacy's Cooking Channel show
The Mai-Kai’s Kona Coffee Grog was featured on Jim Stacy’s Cooking Channel show.

3 stars

30 – Kona Coffee Grog (after dinner) {ancestor}

31 – Hot Buttered Rum (after dinner) {tribute}

32 – Oh So Deadly (mild) {ancestor / tribute}

33 – Piña Colada (medium) {ancestor/tribute}

34 – Martinique Milk Punch (mild) {ancestor / tribute}

35 – Malayan Mist (mild) {ancestor}

36 – Mai-Kai Special (mild) {tribute}

37 – Mai-Kai Swizzle (mild) {tribute}

38 – Floridita Daiquiri (mild) {recipe}

39 – Derby Daiquiri (mild) {recipe}

40 – Gardenia Lei (after dinner) {ancestor}

The Mai-Kai's Molokai bar is one of the most distinctive in the world
The Molokai bar is one of the world’s most distinctive. (Go11Events.com)

2 1/2 stars

41 – Banana Daiquiri (mild) {recipe}

42 – Strawberry Daiquiri (mild) {tribute}

2 stars

43 – Planters Punch (medium) {ancestor}

44 – Tahitian Coffee (after dinner) {ancestor}

45 – Wahine Delight (after dinner) {ancestor}

46 – Mai-Kai Cappuccino (after dinner)

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RETIRED MAI-KAI COCKTAILS

Participants in the book release parties for "Mai-Kai: History and Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant" received a special membership card in the Okole Maluna Society along with the chance to enjoy the lost classic Demerara Float. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, September 2016)
Participants in the book release parties for “Mai-Kai: History and Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant” received a special membership card in the Okole Maluna Society along with the chance to enjoy the lost classic Demerara Float. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, September 2016)

While these have been removed from the main cocktail menu over the years, many have made appearances at events and special tastings. If you’re lucky, you’ll get another chance in the future.

* Demerara Float (4.5)
{ancestor / recipe / tribute}

* Big Bamboo (4) {recipe}

* Demerara Cocktail (3 1/2)
{recipe / tribute}

* Dr. Fong (3 1/2) {ancestors / tribute}

* Hanalei Bay (3 1/2) {ancestor / tribute}

* Last Rites (3 1/2) {ancestor / recipe / tribute}

* Liquid Gold (3 1/2) {ancestor / tribute}

* Impatient Virgin (3) {ancestor / tribute}

* Island Queen (3) {ancestor / tribute}

* Martinique Cocktail (3) {ancestor}

* Tiki Swizzle (3) {recipe}

* Cuban Daiquiri (2 1/2) {ancestor/tribute}

See also: Fog Cutter and Singapore Sling
* Read more about The Mai-Kai’s “lost cocktails”

In 1958, Mariano Licudine created the Derby Daiquiri, one of the most celebrated drinks of the mid-century tropical cocktail boom.
In 1958, Mariano Licudine created the Derby Daiquiri, one of the most celebrated drinks of the mid-century tropical cocktail boom.

Disclaimers: These ratings are based on Hurricane Hayward’s own personal tastes. He tends to prefer strong, complex drinks with a unique flavor profile. Aside from perhaps the bottom three or four, they’re all highly recommended and sure to please imbibers with different tastes. The top three are remarkable, and the top 10 are all worthy of the Tiki drink hall of fame. But please, consume with caution, they’re all very potent.

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THE MAI-KAI TROPICAL DRINK MENU
(Our ratings in parentheses, 1-5 stars)
(Click on hyperlinks for full reviews and recipes)

Note: The Mai-Kai has been closed for a massive renovation since October 2020. The cocktails below were listed on the last full menu, updated in 2018 and offered through March 2020. A scaled-down menu was offered during the remainder of 2020 due to COVID. The full menu will return for the grand reopening.

2018 update: The Mai-Kai updates bar menu, adds classic ‘lost’ cocktail
* See the official online menu

The Mai-Kai's tropical drink menu
The Mai-Kai’s last full menu, circa 2018.

STRONG

* Zombie (5) {ancestors / tribute}

* 151 Swizzle (4 1/2) {ancestor / tribute}

* Special Planters Punch (4 1/2) {ancestor / tribute}

* Barrel O’ Rum (4) {recipe / tribute}

* Sidewinder’s Fang (4) {ancestor}

* Mystery Drink (4) {ancestor}

* Jet Pilot (4) {ancestors / tribute}

* Mutiny (4) {tribute}

* Shrunken Skull (4) {ancestor / official / tribute}

* Yeoman’s Grog (4) {ancestor / tribute}

* The Hukilau (4) {tribute}

* Black Magic (3 1/2) {tribute}

* Mai Tai (3 1/2) {tribute}

* Suffering Bastard (3 1/2) {tribute}

* Zula #1 and #2 (3 1/2) {ancestor / tributes}

* K.O. Cooler (3 1/2) {ancestors / tribute}

* Bora Bora (3) {ancestor / tribute}

Cocktails in The Molokai bar: Special Planters Punch, Black Magic, Bora Bora, and Jet Pilot. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, April 2014)
Cocktails in The Molokai bar: Special Planters Punch, Black Magic, Bora Bora, and Jet Pilot. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, April 2014)

MEDIUM

* Shark Bite (4 1/2) {ancestor / tribute}

* Cobra’s Kiss (4) {ancestor / tribute}

* Rum Julep (4) {ancestor / tribute}

* Piña Passion (3 1/2) {ancestor / tribute}

* Special Reserve Daiquiri (3 1/2) {ancestor / tribute}

* Deep Sea Diver (3 1/2) {ancestor / tribute}

* Moonkist Coconut (3 1/2) {recipe}

* Hidden Pearl (3 1/2) {ancestor / tribute}

* Tahitian Breeze (3 1/2) {ancestors / tribute}

* Mara-Amu (3 1/2) {recipe}

* Piña Colada (3) {ancestor/tribute}

* Planters Punch (2) {ancestor}

A recent photo of The Molokai Girls in the bar, which never seems to go out of style
A photo illustration of The Molokai Girls with the Mai-Kai Special and The Hukilau. (Courtesy of The Mai-Kai)

MILD

* Samoan Grog (3 1/2) {ancestor / tribute}

* S.O.S. (3 1/2) {ancestor / tribute}

* Oh So Deadly (3) {ancestor / tribute}

* Martinique Milk Punch (3) {ancestor / tribute}

* Malayan Mist (3) {ancestor}

* Mai-Kai Special (3) {tribute}

* Mai-Kai Swizzle (3) {tribute}

* Floridita Daiquiri (3) {recipe}

* Derby Daiquiri (3) {recipe}

* Banana Daiquiri (2 1/2) {recipe}

* Strawberry Daiquiri (2 1/2) {tribute}

The Mai-Kai's Polynesian Islander Revue performance during The Hukilau in June 2010
The Mai-Kai’s Polynesian Islander Revue performance during The Hukilau in June 2010. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

AFTER DINNER

* Chocolate Snowflake (3 1/2) {tribute}

* Mai-Kai Blizzard (3 1/2) {tribute}

* Kona Coffee Grog (3) {ancestor}

* Hot Buttered Rum (3) {tribute}

* Gardenia Lei (3) {ancestor}

* Tahitian Coffee (2) {ancestor}

* Wahine Delight (2) {ancestor}

* Mai-Kai Cappuccino (2)

Related: See all the drinks organized by ancestry

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MAHALOS

* The entire Thornton family, manager Kern Mattei, marketing director Pia Dahlquist and everyone else at The Mai-Kai. Your dedication is inspiring.
* Author Jeff “Beachbum Berry,” my mixology guru, whose research provided many of the recipes above.
* Historian Tim “Swanky” Glazner, who keeps the stories and spirit of The Mai-Kai alive for future generations.
* The Hukilau, which gave me my introduction to this wonderful world.
* And last but not least: My beautiful wife, and all my friends and associates who have joined me at The Mai-Kai during my “research.”

Aloha and okole maluna!

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PAST ATOMIC GROG INTERVIEWS, SYMPOSIUMS

VIDEO: Deconstructing Kohala Bay
Hurricane Hayward joined the Austin Rum Society online in April 2021 to reveal several new rum blends that hope to duplicate The Mai-Kai’s late, great dark Jamaican mixing rum. In the video below, we also enjoyed a Rum Barrel featuring the new recipe and discussed the history of The Mai-Kai.
More on the rums of The Mai-Kai
* The legacy of Jamaica’s dark rums

Hurricane Hayward on Inside the Desert Oasis Room
Hurricane Hayward on Inside the Desert Oasis Room
Listen to the “COVID Chronicles” episode recorded live in April 2020 with Adrian Eustaquio as The Atomic Grog blogger made his way to The Mai-Kai to pick up Gallons to Go.

The Rums of The Mai-Kai, presented by The Atomic Grog at The Hukilau 2019
The Rums of The Mai-Kai symposium on Inside the Desert Oasis Room
Mahalo to Adrian Eustaquio and Inside the Desert Oasis Room for documenting the presentation featuring Hurricane Hayward and Matt Pietrek of Cocktail Wonk live on stage at The Mai-Kai during the closing festivities of The Hukilau 2019.
* See the event preview
More on the rums of The Mai-Kai
* The history of the potent, funky flavors from Guyana and Jamaica

The Mai-Kai Walking Tour on Marooned: A Texas Tiki Podcast
The Mai-Kai Walking Tour on Marooned: A Texas Tiki Podcast

Join The Atomic Grog for a Mai-Kai history lesson with carver Will Anders and manager Kern Mattei. It’s a real Tiki museum audio walking tour.

Demerara Rum: The Mai-Kai's Secret Weapon on Jan. 19, 2019, at The Mai-Kai
Demerara Rum – The Mai-Kai’s Secret Weapon

The Atomic Grog was pleased to present a special happy-hour talk during The Mai-Kai Takeover event in January 2019.

The Atomic Grog on Marooned: A Texas Tiki Podcast
The Atomic Grog on Marooned: A Texas Tiki Podcast

Listen to Hurricane Hayward and podcaster David Phantomatic in the Samoa Room at The Mai-Kai as they discuss (what else) the historic tropical drinks and influence of South Florida’s Polynesian Palace.

Okole Maluna Cocktail Academy: How to Mix Like The Mai-Kai
Okole Maluna Cocktail Academy: How to Mix Like The Mai-Kai

Tips and techniques from Hurricane Hayward of The Atomic Grog for turning your home bar into a Tiki cocktail paradise, a sold-out Okole Maluna Cocktail Academy class at The Hukilau 2018.

60 years of Tiki cocktail history
The Atomic Grog explores 60 years of Tiki cocktail history

Our presentation at The Hukilau 2017 offered a trip through time, from 1956 to the present day, via the lavish tropical drink menus of The Mai-Kai.

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PAST MAI-KAI SPECIAL EVENTS

THE HUKILAU

The Hukilau 2022: Daily recap, photos and video
The Hukilau 2022: Daily recap, photos and video
The 19th Tiki weekender featured four days of live music, educational seminars, cocktails and rum tastings, plus lots more.

The Hukilau 2021 updates: Daily schedule and photos
The Hukilau 2021: Daily recap, photos and video
The Hukilau returned to the picturesque Fort Lauderdale area oceanfront for four days of Polynesian Pop paradise in America’s vacationland.

More Hukilau coverage
* In 2020, virtual events honor Tiki weekender, help those in need
* 10 highlights from The Hukilau 2019 in Fort Lauderdale
* The Hukilau 2019 preview party: The Surfrajettes return to The Mai Kai
* The Hukilau 2018 recap: Images from the whirlwind Tiki weekend
* More recaps: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2002-2008

HULAWEEN

Hulaween on hiatus: Relive 12 years of madness at The Mai-Kai
Hulaween on hiatus: Relive 12 years of madness at The Mai-Kai
With the Tiki temple closed for refurbishment, the annual Halloween bash was canceled. But that won’t stop us from taking a look back at the past 12 years of madness in The Molokai bar.

Safe and scary fun: Hulaween Drive-In Movie at The Mai-Kai on Oct. 30
The Mai-Kai celebrates Hulaween 2020 with drive-in movie party after closing for renovations
The historic Polynesian restaurant transported revelers to a socially-distanced celebration like no other, including an appearance by Appleton Rum’s Joy Spence.

More Hulaween coverage
* The living dead came to party at The Mai-Kai’s Hulaween 2019
* Hulaween is back from the dead for 10th anniversary reunion in 2018
* Monstrous mayhem at the ninth annual Hulaween in 2017
* A hauntingly good time at the eighth annual Hulaween in 2016
* The undead get lively at the seventh annual Hulaween in 2015
* A ghastly good time at the sixth annual Hulaween in 2014
* Partygoers raise hell at the fifth annual Hulaween in 2013
* Hulaween 2012 was hoppin’ all night at The Mai-Kai

OTHER EVENTS

Photos: The Mai-Kai Tiki Marketplace in Fort Lauderdale, July 2021
Tiki Marketplace offers a taste of The Mai-Kai
The July 2021 event featured vintage art and collectibles, food trucks, plus authentic Mai-Kai cocktails and entertainment.

The Mai-Kai hosts first Tiki Marketplace featuring vendors, entertainers, cocktails, rum tasting and more
The Mai-Kai hosts first Tiki Marketplace in April 2021

The historic restaurant was closed for repairs, but a new event took advantage of the large parking lot for a safe and fun-filled day featuring the generous spirit of ‘ohana.

The Mai-Kai celebrates 64th anniversary under the moon as challenges loom
The Mai-Kai celebrates 64th anniversary under the moon as challenges loom
The 2020 version of the annual Customer “Mahalo” Appreciation Party was held in the vast parking lot after the socially distanced event sold out less than a week after going on sale.

Appleton master blender Joy Spence hosts rare rum tasting at The Mai-Kai
What we learned at Appleton master blender Joy Spence’s rum tasting
What could possibly be better than an Appleton Estate rum tasting at The Mai-Kai? How about the first-ever such event in August 2019 at the historic Polynesian palace hosted by Joy Spence, the longtime master blender for the venerable Jamaican brand synonymous with pure premium rum.

2018
* Florida bartender wins Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Challenge at The Mai-Kai

2016
* A Fifth of Grog: ‘Boozy’ blog celebrates fifth anniversary
* The Mai-Kai turns 60 with special history presentations, celebration
* Miami Rum Festival party and Santero’s Elixir cocktail recipe
* The Mai-Kai competes in “The Art of Tiki” at SoBeWFF | Pupule Punch recipe

2015
* Three classic ‘lost cocktails’ drop in for a night of flights

2014
* Special event takes guests on a flight back to classic Potions of the Caribbean
* Historic Mai-Kai celebrated, new cocktail menu unveiled at anniversary party

2012
* Cocktail flights soar at Mai-Kai Mixer, reveal revolutionary use of rums
* Mai-Kai Mixer shakes up South Florida with rockin’ retro cocktail party

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PAST MAI-KAI NEWS, SPECIAL REPORTS

An archive of general, non-cocktail news and events can be found on our new page dedicated to the restoration of The Mai-Kai. Some stories appear in both places.

2020
* The Mai-Kai re-releases signature rum, plus new glassware and spirits menu
* Cocktail quarts join gallons as The Mai-Kai expands takeout menu

2018
* The Mai-Kai updates bar menu, adds classic ‘lost’ cocktail

Revelers at The Hukilau in June 2015 enjoy the Deep Sea Diver cocktail, once again served in its vintage glassware thanks to Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and his line of Cocktail Kingdom products. (Atomic Grog photos)
Revelers at The Hukilau in June 2015 enjoy the Deep Sea Diver cocktail, once again served in its vintage glassware thanks to Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and his line of Cocktail Kingdom products. (Atomic Grog photos)

2017
* The Mai-Kai is here to stay: 10 reasons why we love the historic restaurant

2014
* Artists pay tribute to The Mai-Kai with one-of-a-kind mugs

2012
* The 12 Days of Christmas, Mai-Kai style
* Mini Mai-Kai Mystery Bowl offers scaled-down version of a classic
* Mai-Kai tropical drink family tree
* Heeeeeeere’s the rich history and lost stories of The Mai-Kai

2011
* Tour of The Mai-Kai’s mysterious bars and kitchen (with photos)
* Interview with General Manager Kern Mattei

Other media coverage
* Flaming knives, deadly rum and Pupu platters: Why Mai-Kai is still a tiki legend (Miami Herald)
* Recreating the Mai-Kai’s bizarre Black Magic cocktail (Punch)
* A tour of the iconic Mai-Kai Tiki bar (Punch)
* At Fort Lauderdale’s Mai-Kai, it’s always Tiki time (New York Times)

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MAI-KAI SPECIAL FEATURES

Explore The Mai-Kai in 3-D | Captured by Google in May 2016

Mai-Kai: History and Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant

Mai-Kai: History and Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant
The definitive book on the historic landmark by Tim “Swanky” Glazner.
* Official website
* Facebook | Instagram

More from Swanky
* 1958-59: The Okole Maluna Society
* Mariano Licudine – “The Houdini of the Liquids”

Minimalist Tiki

11 Replies to “Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide”

  1. This looks awesome, I have been several times and had maybe 7 or so of the drinks, but I always get overwhelmed. I am looking forward to this!

    Thanks!
    Gil in Oakland

  2. I went to the Mai-Kai for my 21st birthday and I had their Hidden Pearl. I really liked it, but I haven’t been able to find the recipe at all. I saw that you had recipes for some of their drinks and wondered if you knew the recipe for their hidden pearl?

    1. Nicole, thanks for writing and we’re glad you enjoyed The Mai-Kai. The Hidden Pearl is an excellent drink for “newbies” :>)

      We don’t have the authentic recipe since these are closely guarded secrets, but we do have the “ancestor” recipe that the Mai-Kai’s version is based on. It’s very similar and just as tasty.

      It’s not due to be posted on the blog until later, but we’ll e-mail it to you so you can try it out.

      Mahalo!

  3. Have had many of the drinks. Added the Deep Sea Diver this weekend at the Hukilau. We should try to resurrect the THE OKOLE MALUNA SOCIETY, i think the concept is great. Would also be great for the restaurant. Maybe get some small little passport booklets made. Have the waitresses sign off on it. Then induct someone into the club like they do at the Smugglers cove in San fran with an official fez… Im in on that!

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