August 28, 2015 19

Modern Mai Tai with Hibiscus + Thyme + a #drinkthesummer recap!

Modern Mai Tai with Hibiscus + Thyme | @withfoodandlove

For many reasons, but especially because it’s Friday and still very much the summertime – I thought I’d bring you guys something fun to sip on over the weekend. And, pretend like it’s still the middle of July. It’s a fresh take on a classic cocktail, with some updated coolness and inspired flavors.

I call it the Modern Mai Tai. Pumped full of fresh pineapple juice, your favorite rum, and some honey-sweetened, thyme infused hibiscus tea. Definitely no gross liquors or sugary syrups or artificial colors. Just clean, good old real-food ingredients. And, booze.

I’m light on the words today, so feel free to skip down to the bottom for the recipe, or read on for a recap of last week’s #DRINKTHESUMMER party!

Modern Mai Tai with Hibiscus + Thyme | @withfoodandlove

Modern Mai Tai with Hibiscus + Thyme | @withfoodandlove

Modern Mai Tai with Hibiscus + Thyme | @withfoodandlove

#DRINKTHESUMMER was a total success! And Renee and I were incredibly honored to have so many wonderful people/talented bloggers come together, all in the name of love and late summer produce and high-vibe cocktails. The internet can be a lonely place sometimes, and as a food blogger you spend a lot {like a lot} of your time behind a screen. So it was a really fun way for us to mix up the monotony and support one another. So, thanks for hanging everyone.

p.s. We want to make this an annual thing, open to EVERYONE {with a blog}! So if you want to participate in #DRINKTHESUMMER next year, fill out this form and we’ll totally put you on the list.

The detail and care that went into each post was incredible. To see the full list of #DRINKTHESUMMER attendees {there were 38 of us!!!} click HERE.

Below are a few of my personal faves…

Beth’s figgy cocktail.

Summer’s honeydew drink.

Shelly’s plum sparkler.

Kristan’s blackberry spritz.

Ashley’s rose slushie.

Emilie’s peach margarita.

Elizabeth’s bloody maria.

Jodi’s watermelon colada.

Brooke’s raspberry smash.

And, Kate’s elderflower sangria.

Oh , and!

Food52 dug the party too! They rounded up their favorite eight HERE!

Okay! Happy weekend and peace and love, and all good things y’all.

Modern Mai Tai with Hibiscus + Thyme | @withfoodandlove

Modern Mai Tai with Hibiscus + Thyme | @withfoodandlove

Modern Mai Tai with Hibiscus + Thyme | @withfoodandlove

Modern Mai Tai with Hibiscus + Thyme {print me!}

Notes: this is an updated version of a classic Mai Tai cocktail. No gross syrups, no outdated liquors, just fresh modern flavors. It can easily be adapted to drink virgin style, just sans the booze guys, it’s way flavorful without it! This recipe takes a few minutes to throw together, especially if you steep the tea beforehand. It will make 4 cocktails.

  • 1 tablespoon loose hibiscus tea or 4 tea bags
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 5 – 10 sprigs fresh thyme {see notes above}
  • 1 tablespoon honey, or maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice {fresh is best}
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 6 ounces of your favorite rum {light, dark or amber}
  • ice

Steep your hibiscus and thyme sprigs in the hot water for about 5 minutes, then discard the tea and thyme. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature and add in the honey. Stir to dissolve and refrigerate until cooled all the way.

Fresh pineapple juice is best, if you have a juicer, juice one small pineapple. This will yield roughly 1 1/2 cups of juice. If you don’t have a juicer, store bought, unsweetened pineapple juice works fine! In a large pitcher combine the lemon juice with the pineapple juice, give it a quick stir and set it to the side.

Fill four rocks glasses with ice, all the way to the top. Pour in 1 ounce hibiscus thyme tea, 1 1/2 ounces of dark rum and top the rest with pineapple juice. Stir gently and garnish with a pineapple slice, cherry and sprig of thyme.

Drink responsibly + #DRINKTHESUMMER!!!!!

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19 Responses to "Modern Mai Tai with Hibiscus + Thyme + a #drinkthesummer recap!"

  1. Reply

    Sarah | Well and Full

    August 28, 2015 at 7:44 AM

    This is such a beautiful cocktail! I love the ombre colors. And also that it’s all natural ;)

  2. Reply


    August 28, 2015 at 9:26 AM

    This. Sounds. AMAZZZING. Such an interesting blend of flavors. I love the way you think! Hope you are well ;)

    • Reply


      August 28, 2015 at 9:50 AM

      Hey Chaucee! All is well, right back at ya. I hope you’re holding down the fort in Philly girl. I misssssss it, wah. These little guys would also be AWESOME with some RHUBARB in lieu of rum. Actually, I think I’m going to make that version over the weekend. Cheers!

  3. Reply


    August 28, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    I’m already getting excited and brainstorming ideas for next year’s #drinkthesummer. You guys are amazing to organise such a brilliant + inspiring event and I loved reading all of the posts. Now I think I’m going to mix myself up one of those beauties and cheers to the weekend!

    • Reply


      August 31, 2015 at 7:01 PM

      Yes! I can’t wait for you to join with us next year, so sorry this year didn’t work out, and I have been thinking of you + hoping all is well Kathryn! xx

  4. Reply

    Lily | Kale & Caramel

    August 28, 2015 at 9:18 PM

    Let us please discuss the many ways in which I love this: 1) Hibiscus! Duh. 2) Pineapple: Oh song of home. 3) Thyme! Sweet baby yes. Gorgeous, Sherrie.

    • Reply


      August 31, 2015 at 7:02 PM


  5. Reply

    Sasha Swerdloff | TENDING the TABLE

    August 29, 2015 at 12:14 PM

    Looks delicious! And thanks so much for hosting such a fun online party! I agree that it’s nice to connect with other bloggers and feel a sense of community. Can’t wait for next year!

    • Reply


      August 31, 2015 at 7:01 PM

      Me too, can’t wait!!!

  6. Reply

    Brooke @ Chocolate + Marrow

    August 29, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    That is like my favorite photo of a pineapple ever! Your photography is always just so darn beautiful.

    Also, so many thanks to you and Renee for putting #drinkthesummer together. It was a total blast. I’ve got my green beans pickling in the fridge for your bloody mary, which I was GOING to make last weekend but then I “accidentally” ate all of my ripe heirlooms in a salad and didn’t have enough for drinks. But don’t you worry, a whole bunch just popped up this week and they are dedicated to Sherrie’s Bloody Marys :) :) :)

    • Reply


      August 31, 2015 at 7:03 PM

      THANK YOU BROOKE, too kind :)

  7. Reply

    Dan Bukowski

    August 30, 2015 at 4:48 PM

    That looks refreshing and delicious. Have to give this a try before summer ends!!

    • Reply


      August 31, 2015 at 7:12 PM

      Please do Dan, hope you love it!

  8. Reply

    Amanda Paa

    August 31, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    so many talented gals, so many delicious beverages! hard to decide which one was my favorite, but that plum sparkler and your bloody mary’s were filed into my “make soon” drawer. and how gorgeous are these mai tai’s? cheers!

  9. Reply

    Tessa | Salted Plains

    September 1, 2015 at 1:45 PM

    Loved checking out all these creative, beautiful drinks! Such a great idea. I made your bloody marys and they were so good, Sherrie. This mai tai is gorgeous – yay for hibiscus!

  10. Reply

    aida mollenkamp

    September 4, 2015 at 2:32 PM

    I adore hibiscus in cocktails and love me a good Mai Tai so this is so up my alley!

  11. Reply

    Eden Passante

    March 28, 2016 at 7:22 PM

    This sounds like the best mai tai ever! It’s one of my favorite cocktails so I definitely need to try this!!

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With Food + Love © 2018 | All photos + words belong to Sherrie Castellano -- they cannot be used or distributed without permission.