During our first evening at the Westin Maui, we had dinner at the Ono Bar & Grill. When our lovely waitress asked for our drink order, I was prepared to go with my usual (a beer or glass of wine), but she insisted I try the No Ka Oi Mai Tai. Now, I’m not really a fruity cocktail drinker, folks. I find most too sweet, but she insisted I would love the award-winning cocktail.
Fine. I mean, it’s HAWAII. I agreed.
So happy I did. It was delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I hunted the bartender down immediately. (Hi, Junior! Hope I didn’t scare you with my big camera in your face!)
(Um, hello, best smile EVER.)
The bartender, Junior Bumanglag, was one of the top three finalists chosen to participate at the finals of this years’s StarMixologist Competition. The 3 finalists battled it out in an Iron Chef-inspired competition hosted by celebrity Chef and restaurateur, Todd English, and Junior didn’t disappoint. I hit him up for all the scoop on his famous Mai Tai.
Translated as Number One or Best Mai Tai, the cocktail includes Maui Pineapple Rum that is exclusively distributed by Haleakala Distillers to The Westin Maui Resort & Spa. The liqueur is locally distilled in Maui and is the only rum that uses Maui grown pineapples and sugar cane, adding a fresh and vibrant flavor which is absolutely delicious. It’s eco-friendly as well, as the resort bartenders return the empty bottles to the distiller to be sanitized and filled with Maui Pineapple Rum again.
Here’s the recipe. I’ll be trying to recreate it very soon. Now, if I can get my hands on some of that Maui rum…
“No Ka Oi Mai Tai” Recipe:
¾ oz Maui Pineapple Rum
½ oz Orange Curacao
2 oz Pineapple Juice (fresh)
1 oz Orange Juice (freshly squeezed)
¾ oz Maui Dark Rum
1 wedge Lime
1. Being a layered cocktail, start with a few ice cubes in a tropical or rose tulip glass.
2. Add pineapple rum and orange curacao.
3. Add both juices, followed by freshly squeezed lime, top it with dark rum float.