HAWAIʻI in the Kitchen: Aoki Tai

Try this fresh take on the classic mai tai, courtesy of Doraku Sushi in Waikīkī.
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The Aoki Tai from Doraku Sushi. Photo: Courtesy of Doraku Sushi

What better way to celebrate National Mai Tai Day—or any day, really—with a new take on the classic tiki cocktail.

Ryan Birkett, head bartender at Doraku Sushi in Waikīkī, walks you through the recipe for Aoki Tai—new to the restaurant’s menu—which uses housemade falernum, a Caribbean cocktail ingredient spiced with clove, lime, ginger and almond. Birkett also uses a 2-year aged rum from Big Island-based Kuleana Rum Works for its notes of banana.

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Aoki Tai


  • ½ fresh lime juice, squeezed
  • 1 oz. housemade falernum (ginger, cloves, almonds, lime zest)
  • ½ oz. Bols orange Curaçao liqueur
  • 1 ½ oz. Kuleana Rum Works Nanea Rum
  • 1 oz. Mahina Premium Dark Rum
  • Dehydrated lime wheels (for garnish)
  • Pineapple leaves (for garnish)
  • Ice
  • Cocktail shaker


  1. Prepare the cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Pour the fresh lime juice, housemade falernum, Bols orange Curaçao liqueur and Kuleana Nanea rum into a cocktail shaker.
  3. Cover the shaker with the cap. Give the combined ingredients a shake for 10 to 15 seconds.
  4. Pour the mixture into a highball glass.
  5. Top the mixture off with the Mahina Premium Dark Rum and pour directly on top of the mixture.
  6. Garnish the drink with a dehydrated lime wheel and a pineapple leaf.
Categories: Recipes, Watch