Happy Aloha Friday! Cheers to the weekend with my newest cocktail creation – the Hawaiian Honi Cocktail. Or also called a Strawberry Hibiscus Rum Fizz Cocktail. Thanks to Koloa Rum for providing me with their rums to create this cocktail.
I have had the idea for this Hawaiian Honi cocktail for quite some time after I found my new favorite bitters to use in tiki cocktails called “Polynesian Kiss” bitters. A Polynesian kiss, also known as Honi in Hawaiian, is when people press their foreheads and noses together, gently of course, and breath in at the same time.
My husband and I had several Honi’s during our wedding ceremony on Kauai, and we still do them when we see each other after work, school, etc. I also do them with my daughters. Honis have also been seen in movies such as Moana. It is a very special greeting in the Polynesian culture. My cocktail today represents that greeting.
I have been experimenting more with different types of bitters in my tiki cocktail creations. Tiki drinks are always so complex with a lot of different ingredients in them to give them their amazing flavors.
Tiki drinks also tend to be on the sweeter side of cocktails, so adding in ingredients like bitters help balance out the sweetness. Polynesian Kiss bitters can be found at El Guapo Bitters online. They have a ton of different bitters I want to get. They all sound amazing.
I have been playing around with different versions of this cocktail trying to perfect it to how I liked it best. I originally had hibiscus simple syrup and a ginger simple syrup, while each amazing on their own, to keep the ingredient list from being a mile long I combine the two and made a hibiscus ginger simple syrup which I absolutely love.
It has the floral scent from the hibiscus flowers, the spicy zing from the ginger and it adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the cocktail. I muddled chopped strawberries with the syrup to start off the cocktail.
I combined the rest of the ingredients, except soda water, in a shaker with ice and shook for a few seconds, filled the glass with pebble ice ( I buy bags of pebble ice from Sonic, they’re my go to for the best ice in the world), stirred just a little, and then topped with soda water for fizz and a splash of Koloa Kaua’i Dark Rum.
This Hawaiian Honi cocktail has all the elements I love in a tiki rum cocktail. Rum of course, tropical flavors from pineapple and hibiscus, a bit of spice from the ginger, sour from the lime, bitterness from the Polynesian bitters and fizz from soda water. It really has it all. And it has a fun garnish too. Tiki cocktails are as much about their garnishes as they are about their complex flavors from a long list of ingredients.
Pebble ice is a popular ice to use with tiki drinks, especially ones that are layered. The ice tends to help keep the layers separate enough to see layers of the cocktail. Great for an ombre look to drinks. I would love to own a pebble ice maker for my house, it might be a huge splurge one day, as they aren’t the cheapest appliance to own, so for now I buy bags of ice from Sonic which is just around the corner from my house.
It is very convenient to have a Sonic so close to our house, especially in the summertime here in Vegas. We practically live on ice all summer long.
I am a big fan of vintage Hawaiian anything from art, to cookbooks, to trinkets I can use as props in my blog photos. I found this neat Hawaiian Island chain tray at a vintage store on the Big Island of Hawaii a couple years ago. I actually have it as decoration in my bedroom, on a shelf next to some pineapples, books and a palm tree lamp. My house pretty much looks like a vintage Hawaiian store with all my decorations.
Speaking of vintage Hawaiian, my photos for today’s cocktail were not only inspired by my love of all things vintage Hawaiian but from my blogging friend Rezel Kealoha. She switches up her style of food and photography drink often and I have been absolutely loving her photos as of late. Lots of greens, tropical foliage for props, tropical and Filipino ingredients ( pandan infused coffee yes please) and a vintage edit to her photos has me swooning.
She has made a vintage look into something more modern and it works so well. Nothing like the horrible photos of cookbooks from the 50’s and 60’s, that were, I’m sure, amazing at the time, but now are great for a giggle. Take a look at Rezel’s blog as well as Instagram and you will see what I mean about how she has created such a unique look. I am inspired!
- 2-3 strawberries, stems removed and hulled, sliced
- 1.5 Tbsp Hibiscus Ginger Syrup*
- 1.5 Oz Koloa Kaua’i Gold Rum
- .5 Oz Orange Curacao
- 1.5 Oz Guava Juice
- .5 ounce pineapple Juice
- 2 tsp lime juice
- few dashes of Polynesian Kiss Bitters
- Soda Water
- Top with splash of Koloa Kaua’i Dark Rum
- Pineapple leaves
- Candied Ginger
- In a large tiki cocktail glass (or tall collins glass) muddle the strawberries with the hibiscus ginger syrup. Fill the glass with pebble ice.
- In a cocktail shaker add the rum, curacao, juices and bitters and shake well. Pour into cocktail glass, add soda water to almost the top of the glass. Top with a teaspoon or so of the dark rum.
- Garnish and serve
*Hibiscus Ginger Syrup
1 C water
1 C organic Hawaiian cane sugar
1/3 C dehydrated hibiscus flowers
2 inch pieces fresh ginger, peeled and diced.
Bring all the ingredients to a boil in a small sauce pan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Let simmer for 10 minutes then remove from heat. Let steep for one hour. Strain and cool completely before using.
This drink easily multiplies for several cocktails. You can also make a pitcher of the main component of the drink if serving a large group. Save the strawberries and hibiscus ginger syrup to muddle in each glass before topping with ice and the cocktail mixture. Add the soda water and dark rum just before serving.
Thanks again to Koloa Rum Company for providing me with their rums so I can keep making delicious tiki cocktails like this Hawaiian Honi Cocktail.