Skull and Crown Trading Co. Mai Tais

We had the pleasure of visiting the best tiki bar between San Francisco and Tokyo twice during our visit. Skull and Crown is located in Honolulu’s Chinatown and is a treasure, such a welcoming and immersive space that transports you to historic Hawai’i. The vintage elements and decor helps you feel like the bar opened in 1920 and never closed.

There are three Mai Tais on the menu, so we had to sample all of them.

Dagger Mai Tai
Developed in conjunction with Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, this is a Mai Tai featuring some exotic spices and… well, that’s all we know. All the ingredients are redacted on the menu. Quite good.

‘Awa’Awa Mai Tai
Featuring KoHana Hawaiian Rum Agricole, Campari, Grand Mariner, Lime, Orgeat, and Lilikoi, this bitter Mai Tai is served flaming and is quite wonderful. The Campari for sure is the forward tasting note but this is still approachable even if Campari isn’t your thing.

Maunakea Mai Tai
Featuring Appleton 12, Clement Select Barrel, Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum, Dry Curacao, Lime, Orgeat, and Demerara Syrup. This was by far my favorite Mai Tai on the list, and obviously hews most closely to the classic 1944 Mai Tai recipe. It is so wonderful, a flavorful Mai Tai that allows you to savor the ingredients. Doesn’t make me sad that this leans into the Jamaican rums. I liked this Mai Tai in 2019, but love it this time. One of my Top 5 Mai Tais served anywhere. Really. This is truly excellent.

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