If you don’t have at least one mai tai while you’re in Hawaii, it’s like you weren’t in Hawaii. Here are the capital city’s best of the best.
While it remains a debate as to where the mai tai was first introduced--Don the Beachcomber or Trader Vic's--there's no disputing where this iconic rum-forward drink is most embraced: Hawaii. And Honolulu, Oahu's fashion-forward city, holds some of the very best of the best among its old- and new-school bars. Find your bliss (and pineapple topper) on this thatch-roof bar crawl.
Hideout at the Laylow
Laylow “Hawaiian Style” Mai Tai, $15
The Hideout, the bar at this fashion-forward boutique hotel, has created a house version of the classic Trader Vic recipe that can be traced back to 1944. A blend of pineapple and lilikoi juice updates the original, and the look--distinct ingredient layers and an ornate garnish--is as Instagrammable as the hotel itself.
The Grove at Modern Honolulu
WATCH: How to Make a Classic Mai Tai
House Without a Key
Mai Tai, $7
Dubbed Oahu’s “Original Tiki Bar,” La Mariana Sailing Club has been serving up mai tais in Honolulu since 1957 and is a pilgrimage must. Using an original, top-secret blend of juices, plus a white and dark rum, this no-frills approach pairs perfectly with the bar's dockside setting and the incredible collection of Hawaiian memorabilia inside.