How to Make a Li Hing Pineapple Margarita

Learn how to make an exotic Li Hing Pineapple Margarita in a few easy steps. It’s a showstopper of a cocktail to serve at your next get-together!

Two Li Hing Pineapple Margaritas in front of a whole pineapple and some sliced limes.

These Li Hing Pineapple Margaritas are the perfect, refreshing adult beverages to (a) make for your next cocktail party (b) serve ice cold at your next pool party  or (c) whip up when you get home from work this evening because, let’s face it, you will most DEFINITELY be needing a margarita after a long day at work. And if you’re looking for inspiration on the food side, I dare say this Ahi Poke Salad with Macadamia Nuts would be just perfect. Let’s just make it a Hawaiian-themed evening!

But what, you say, is this bright red ingredient called li hing?

Li hing is actually officially known as “li hing mui,” which is a salty dried plum found at Hawaii’s numerous “crack seed stores.” I’m not a huge fan of the plums in their whole dried form, but li hing mui powder [*affiliate link] is one of my absolute favorite Hawaiian ingredients. It’s sweet, with just a little bit of saltiness. Some of my favorite uses for li hing mui powder are to sprinkle it over fresh mango and pineapple, mix it into the Japanese arare rice crackers or, of course, use it in a margarita!

The slight saltiness of the li hing mui powder is the perfect contrast to the typically highly acidic margarita. Plus, I must add that it imparts such an amazing color to the drink! Go ahead, skip the lipstick for the evening, you definitely won’t be needing it if you’re enjoying one of these Li Hing Pineapple Margaritas.

An overhead shot of two bright red Li Hing Pineapple Margaritas, surrounded by more fresh pineapple, lime and a cocktail jigger.

How to Make a Li Hing Mui Margarita

Once you have the li hing mui powder in hand, these drinks are a snap to make. We even get fancy and rim our glasses with a little extra of the good stuff because, when in Rome (or Hawaii?)

I used Trader Joe’s pineapple juice for this recipe (we love their juices because they don’t have a bunch of unnecessary added ingredients) BUT if you wanted to use fresh pineapple juice, you could easily make what juice you need and then cover any leftover pineapple in li hing mui powder. Just saying. Maybe even add it as a garnish for the drink? Now I’m kicking myself for not thinking of that.

Once you have all of the ingredients ready to go, simply toss them into a cocktail shaker with some ice, give ’em a good shake, and then strain it over some fresh ice in your nicely rimmed glass. You have your fair share of garnish options – feel free to use something as simple as a lime wheel or as extravagant as a li hing mui dipped wedge of fresh pineapple and an umbrella. I’ll leave that decision up to you 😉

Oh, and if you like this recipe, you’ve GOT to try out my Taste of the Tropics Li Hing Mango Margarita I created for #margaritaweek2019. It’s another showstopper!

If you have any fun suggestions for how to use li hing mui powder, drop them in the comments below!

A single Li Hing Pineapple Margarita garnished with a pineapple wedge.


Li Hing Pineapple Margarita
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins

Learn how to make an exotic Li Hing Pineapple Margarita in a few easy steps. It's a showstopper of a cocktail to serve at your next get-together!

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Keyword: drinks, Hawaiian, margarita, pineapple, tequila
Servings: 1 drink
Calories: 188 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
  • 1 ½ ounces white tequila
  • ½ ounce Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • Juice of 1 lime divided (you will need ½ for the actual drink and ½ for rimming the glass)
  • 1 ounce sweet-and-sour I prefer Sonoma Syrup’s Five Citrus Sweet & Sour
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon li hing mui powder plus ½ - 1 teaspoon more for rimming the glass
  1. Combine tequila, orange liqueur, juice of ½ of a lime, sweet-and-sour, pineapple juice and 1/4 teaspoon li hing mui powder in a cocktail shaker with ice.

  2. Using two small bread plates, squeeze juice from the other ½ of the lime on one and ½ - 1 teaspoon of li hing mui powder on the other. Take margarita glass and dip in lime juice first, then dip in li hing mui powder. Set aside.
  3. Shake ingredients in the cocktail shaker vigorously for about 30 seconds, then pour into rimmed margarita glass. Garnish with a lime wedge or li hing mui-covered pineapple chunk, if desired.


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