Tag: Mai Tais

Guest Post: DIY Mai Tais

You’d be hard pressed to find a more soothing and delicious way to wind down on island time than enjoying a Mai Tai. Tahitian for good, a “Maita’i” will help your fantasies of paradise come true.

Fellow travel enthusiast and Chicago native Kendra Thornton is a guest blogger today offering an easy-to-replicate Mai Tai recipe from her stay in Hawaii. Enjoy!


During these winter months in Chicago, it is hard to not time of a time when I was relaxing on a beach and soaking up the sun in the warm weather with my husband. Waikiki turned out to be one of my favorite places to travel on my hefty list, and getting the opportunity to stay in a gorgeous luxury hotel in Honolulu was one of the high points of my existence.

I can’t help but reminisce about Hawaii and the beautiful setting there was in Waikiki, aside from the picturesque scenery the people were so pleasant and friendly. Whenever I’m feeling nostalgic for my favorite place, I whip up this tropical beverage to help me recall some of the flavors of paradise.

During my stay, I learned how to make a specialty Halekulani Mai Tai – a twist on the classic cocktail. I still make these for my friends during our tropical themed get-togethers, or simply when I’m in the mood for a weekend tropical treat. Here’s what you need to know to make your own Halekulani cocktail.

Isn't she a beaut?
Isn’t she a beaut?


– 1/3 – Ounce Orgeat Syrup
– 1/3 Ounce Orange Curaçao
– 1/3-Ounce Rock Candy Syrup
– 3/4-Ounce Bacardi Gold Rum
– 1/2-Ounce Bacardi 151 Rum
– 1 1/4 Ounce Fresh Lime Juice
– 3/4 Ounce Bacardi Select (float)

Pour the ingredients over the crushed ice and float with ¾ ounce of Bacardi Select Rum. For an extra tropical twist, garnish each glass with a lime wheel, sugar cane stick, mint sprig and Vanda orchid.

Whenever I serve these at my DIY cocktail parties, guests swoon – even those who don’t normally enjoy the subtleties of rum. This is a cocktail for everyone can enjoy because they are a tropical treat from the Islands. I hope you enjoy this just as much as my husband and I do!


About the author: Former Orbitz Director of Communications and proud mama of 3, Kendra Thornton has visited 28 countries and is a featured expert in family, luxury and adventure travel for FOX News, ABC, CBS, NBC, and CW networks. You can follow her on twitter @KendraThornton.

Chilling on the Kailua-Kona Coast

Wait, what just happened?

It’s been an epic few days of traveling and celebration here on the Big Island. After all, Fourth of July fell on a Wednesday, so the weekend prior had to be a time of getting out there and seeing a bit of the island.

Some friends and I were supposed to go camping, but that plan was nixxed as soon as we got the phone call that we had a night booked at the beautiful Kona Coast Resort. From rainforest sloggin’ to big living at the resort? I was ready!

We met up at Huggo’s on the beach front for an amazing, almost dream-like happy hour. With my toes in the sand and several half-price Mai Tais and Hawaiian Rainbows, I sat and listened to the live music, ate nachos and enjoyed the setting sun from my front row seat.

Life is a mango sorbet

After happy hour, we packed it up to enjoy our night at the resort. We drove along Ali’i Drive, passing tourists and locals walking along the flower-laden street, surfers passing with their boards tucked under their arms while skateboarding. We saw the beautiful Magic Sands beach, a smallish stretch of beach great for surfing.

That evening, we enjoyed the view from our balcony, attended a pool party and soaked in the hot tub like ballers. Life, my friends, is SO good!

Livin’ better now, gucci sweater now

The next day, we stopped at Kona de Pele’s coffee shop right in the heart of Kona for some straight-from-the-source Kona coffee, some of the best and most expensive in the world. Who could beat brunch with a view?

Coffee with a view

After filling our bellies, we headed north along 19 to Hapuna Beach State Park. Access to the park was free and it was amazing. It’s safe to say my love affair with the South Pacific is ON and Oceania has a soft spot in my heart.

Hapuna Beach State Park

We spotted a little cove over to the right of the park that was calm waters for snorkeling. Three sea turtles came up to ankle-deep water and swam with us. I couldn’t believe our luck!

Overall, it was a great side trip over to the Kona side of the island! Don’t worry, I’ll be back…

Mahalo ke akua!