Pearl Harbor Cocktail

Pearl Harbor Cocktail Recipe

 The Spruce

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
212 Calories
0g Fat
20g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 212
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 69mg 343%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 204mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Pearl Harbor is an easy cocktail to mix up and beautiful to look at. Named after the naval base on Oahu, it has been a popular drink on the Hawaiian islands since at least the 1980s. Although there is no certain origin or history about it, it is a common drink on the islands, a delightful combination of tropical fruits that together make a pretty pale yellowish-green. When you are in the mood for a great vodka cocktail, this is a perfect choice. This makes the perfect beverage for a patio gathering in the summer, easy, cooling, and simply delicious.

The key to the drink is the melon liqueur, usually Midori. Of Japanese origin, but now also produced in the United States, this is a very sweet liqueur that is usually mixed with other ingredients and not drank on its own. In the Peal Harbor, the color of the final drink is determined largely by the pineapple juice, so it's not the greenest or cocktails unless you pour more melon liqueur and less pineapple, also a tasty choice. Combined with vodka and a couple of garnishes, it's no wonder that this drink has remained popular for so many years. And now it's your turn to give it a try.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Pearl Harbor Cocktail Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. Pour the vodka and melon liqueur into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.

    Pearl Harbor Cocktail Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Fill with pineapple juice. When the liquors are topped with pineapple juice, you can get a soft layered effect, but the drink tastes better when mixed.

    Pearl Harbor Cocktail Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Garnish with the lemon and pineapple wedges on the rim and place the maraschino cherries on a cocktail skewer.

    Pearl Harbor Cocktail Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Serve and enjoy.

    Pearl Harbor Cocktail Recipe
     The Spruce

Making a Great Pearl Harbor Drink

Here are a few expert tips on how to make a great Pearl Harbor by choosing the right ingredients:

  • The vodka: there really is no need to pour your absolute best vodka into a Pearl Harbor. If you choose wisely, there are some great budget-friendly vodkas available and you can save the really good stuff for your fancier martinis.
  • The melon liqueur: Midori is, by far, the most famous melon liqueur in today's market, and it is a perfect choice for Pearl Harbor. If you can't find Midori, Bols Melon is another great option.
  • The juice: If you can, use fresh pineapple juice. But because juicing a pineapple requires an electric juicer, use organic unsweetened pineapple juice—look for the smallest quantity available as it doesn't store well. Most stores sell 6 to 8-ounce cans in packs of six or more. Unless you are going to use a lot of pineapple juice at one time, this simple choice will make sure that your drinks are fresh and you are not wasting juice.

Flavored Vodka

Some suggest mixing this drink with pineapple vodka, and although it makes a good drink, it can be too much pineapple flavor. If you do want to play with flavored vodka, try something that isn't an exact match to the drink's flavors. A light berry flavor or cucumber vodka makes a very interesting base against the tropical fruits.

How Strong Is the Pearl Harbor?

Let's assume that we fill our glass with 4 ounces of pineapple juice. In this case, the Pearl Harbor is a relatively light drink, weighing in at just around 15 percent ABV (30 proof). Of course, if we were to pour a little less juice, it would be stronger; add a little more and the drink will be lighter. Either way, this drink is not much stronger than similar drinks like the madras.