A cocktail can't get much more tropical than this! The Royal Hawaiian cocktail, which hails from Waikiki Beach, combines pineapple, fresh citrus, and refreshing gin into one beautiful and refreshing drink. This cocktail is perfect for summer sipping, or anytime you want to mentally transport yourself to a tropical destination.
To achieve this colourful purple to yellow gradient, I made this version created by Empress 1908 gin - a beautiful floral and juniper-based gin that is naturally coloured with butterfly pea flowers, giving it a gorgeous purple hue.
- Empress 1908 Gin
- Unsweetened pineapple juice
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Orgeat syrup
- Pineapple wedge, for optional garnish
See the recipe card below for quantities.
Fill a collins glass with crushed ice. You're going to want to use crushed ice to help you get the beautiful colour gradient effect. Then add pineapple juice, freshly squeezed lemon juice, orgeat syrup, and ice into a cocktail shaker. Shake well for a good 20 seconds. Strain the cocktail into the ice-filled glass.
Gently pour Empress 1908 gin on top. The crushed ice will soften and disperse the pour. This allows the gin to settle on top of the yellow portion of the cocktail. Finally, serve garnished with a wedge of pineapple.
Orgeat is a lovely drink sweetener made of almond extract, sugar, and either orange blossom water or rose water. The result is a pleasant, nutty and floral non-alcoholic addition to your cocktail. Orgeat can be substituted with an amaretto. Amaretto is a sweet and nutty, Italian alcoholic beverage that is made from real almonds (or apricot pits, depending on the quality). Keep in mind that it will raise the alcohol content of your cocktail, and it's missing the floral notes. The best substitute would be two parts amaretto and one part flower water (rose or orange blossom).
This wonderful cocktail started out with a different name - the Princess Kaiulani - when it originated at the luxurious Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Waikiki Beach, Hawaii in the 1920s. Due to its popularity, it was renamed the Royal Hawaiian when it was crowned the hotel's signature drink around 1950. This version that uses Empress 1908 Gin for a beautiful colour effect is a more modern spin on the classic, that typically sees uncoloured gin mixed throughout.
Everyone who enjoys making cocktails should have a great cocktail bar set. I really like this one. It comes with so many great tools, including a muddler and various types of strainers. I purchased one for myself then ended up giving away a few as gifts.
This drink is served in a collins glass. You need this style of tall and skinny glass to really feature the beautiful colour gradients properly.
If you love this cocktail, I know of another one that you'll love just as much. Check out the east 8 hold up. You make this delicious, tropical cocktail with real, fresh pineapple and passionfruit syrup.Print
Royal Hawaiian Cocktail
- Prep Time: 1 minute
- Total Time: 1 minute
- Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
- Category: Cocktails
- Cuisine: Hawaiian
This refreshing, tropical cocktail is deliciously flavoured with a floral and juniper gin sinking into a pineapple and citrus base. Looking like a beautiful sunset the whole time, the Royal Hawaiian might be your new favourite.
1 ½ oz (45ml) Empress 1908 Gin
1 oz (30ml) unsweetened pineapple juice
½ oz (15ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ oz (15ml) orgeat syrup
pineapple wedge (optional garnish)
Add pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orgeat into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds, then strain into a crushed ice filled collins glass.
Gently pour gin on top so that it will float rather than mix in. Garnish and serve.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 68
- Sugar: 24.3 g
- Sodium: 2.7 mg
- Fat: 0.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 26.1 g
- Protein: 0.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: royal Hawaiian
Awesome drink. Cannot wait to make for friends.
Definitely ready for tropical. This drink was a nice pick-me-up after a dreary day.
Thank you, it's definitely a great, refreshing drink for after a long day.
Thank you 🙂
So happy that mine turned out just like your photos. So pretty. Cannot wait to make this cocktail for my friends.
Thank you. I'm glad it turned out great for you ❤️
I made this cocktail last evening to share with a friend. We both really liked it.
Thank you. So glad you both liked it 🙂
So pretty and good.
The weather was.not very warm today but this drink sounded too good too wait for summer.
Thanks, hopefully the summer temperatures arrive soon!
So fun. Can't wait to share this drink with my friends. I know they will love it too.
Thanks! It's such a fun cocktail
Love how tasty this is. Will be a delight to share with others.
Thanks so much 🙂
This royal Hawaiian cocktail is stunning! It definitely makes me feel the tropical vibes. Yummy!
Thank you, Joss! 😎☀️
this cocktail is super pretty and great for photos. i love the combo of pineapple, fresh citrus, and gin!
Thank you! Yes empress gin is amazing for making so many pretty cocktails
What a pretty cocktail! I"ve never combined gin with orgeat before but there's a first time for everything! Love all those tropical flavours and garnishes.
The colours are amazing! Since I won't be making it to Hawaii any time soon, I will just sip on this and pretend.
Thanks so much 💜 I will join you in doing that lol
Not only a beautiful drink (great idea to use Empress gin!) but also delicious and refreshing!
Thank you so much ☀️
Incredible ! How did you know Empress Gin is my favourite! I didn't have orgeat, so subbed Amaretto. Thanks for a beautiful recipe!
I just had a feeling 😉 Thanks so much!
What a gorgeous drink! It would be hard to drink it though, because I could just stare at it all day!
Thank you Terri 💜