Kona Ice Flavor Combinations You Should Definitely Try

Shaved ice is a unique and refreshing treat perfect for warm weather days and has grown in massive popularity in the U.S., having come from Japanese immigrants in Hawaii. The premier brand for shaved ice in the U.S. is Kona Ice, a fast-growing brand that has reinvented the traditional ice cream truck, offering these great delights from its vans while also becoming a Franchise 500 company, as ranked by Entrepreneur.

Similar in style to snow cones, shaved ice comes alive when you cover it with delicious syrups that give the ice typically fruity and sweet flavors. We've already ranked the best flavors offered by Kona Ice here on Mashed, but what if you want to step beyond the confinements of official flavors? Thanks to Kona Ice's Flavorwave, which is essentially a pick-and-mix of syrup, giving customers freedom to unlock some incredible flavor combinations.

While it's always best to let your imagination run wild when creating flavor combinations, the sheer volume of choices could make it tricky to know where to start. For inspiration, here are some fantastic Kona Ice flavor combinations you should try next time you want some refreshing shaved ice.

Pineapple and Coconut

If you want to replicate the refreshing and fun tastes of a beachside cocktail party in your shaved ice, then a great flavor combination is to mix the exotic tastes of pineapple and coconut. These two tropical flavors combine to create a flavor profile akin to a Pina Colada, one of the U.S. favorites that currently ranks in the top 10 cocktails in the U.S. overall, according to CGA Strategy.

What makes this combination even better is that it allows you to enjoy the taste of a Pina Colada without a hangover. These syrups are also sugar-free, making it a guilt-free way to enjoy this classic cocktail.

Although you can get a pre-mixed Pina Colada mix from Kona Ice, doing it yourself allows you to get the ratio of pineapple and coconut that suits your taste. Plus, the pre-mixed Pina Colada is colorless, so by mixing pineapple with coconut, you can brighten up your shaved ice, making it a more fun experience too.

Pineapple, Lemon, and Orange

Sticking with classic cocktails as inspiration for your shaved ice, by combing equal parts pineapple, lemon, and orange, you'll be able to create a shaved ice that evokes all the tangy and citrus flavors of a Mai Thai. As a signature cocktail made famous in Hawaii and thus synonyms with the Pacific Islands, it makes sense to pair this Polynesian treat with the flavors of this delicious cocktail, combining two icons of Hawaii.

In terms of taste, this flavor combination is tart and strong and will leave you with a lip-smacking aftertaste of lemon. It's not the sweetest, which may be surprising due to the flavors involved, but it is still perfect for a warm evening on the beachside or waterfront.

The history of the Mai Tai is unique, first originating in the '40s, and is said to be created by Victor Jules Bergeron, better known as Trader Vic, according to Curacao Liqueur. Although the recipe of a Mai Tai has evolved to include the punch of pineapple in modern iterations, if you want to replicate the original concoction of Trader Vic best in your shaved ice, you can omit the pineapple, creating a flavor profile that's true to the original.

Strawberry, Green Apple, Lemon-Lime, Grape, and Orange

Although this combination may seem eclectic and random, it's actually a well-thought-out and considered assortment of flavors that mimics some of the most popular candy flavorings in the U.S. This is because these flavors correlate to the popular tastes found in Skittles, which currently sits as the number one non-chocolate candy in the U.S.

Although the line-up of Skittle flavors can and has changed throughout the years, the most common and original tastes remain strawberry, green apple, lemon, grape, and orange, which are all represented well in this medley of flavor combinations.Of course, some people out there can't stand a particular skittle flavor (looking at you, yellow Skittle) and have to remove the culprit from the pack before consuming.

Thanks to the freedom that the Flavorwave affords, you can also leave out any of the Skittle flavors from your shaved ice, allowing you to customize it just as you like. If you like them all, this flavor combination allows you to taste the rainbow while spooning mouthfuls of your refreshing and delicious Kona Ice.

French Vanilla and Chocolate

Most flavors offered by Kona Ice are usually fruity, which pairs well with the refreshing kind of treat that the company offers. That said, the brand was always going to include the ever-popular flavor of chocolate, and thus its inclusion allows you to make some exciting and inspired flavor combinations.

If you want a milkshake vibe from your shaved ice, adding some chocolate is a great option; however, covering it with a squirt of French vanilla helps enhance the taste, transforming the flavor profile into something sweet that's more akin to baked goods. When combining French vanilla with chocolate, you can create a combination that tastes similar to popular cookie and cream flavors, which is perfect if you want your shaved ice to taste a bit more like ice cream — which the Kona Ice trucks are trying to replicate.

Vanilla is a great flavor to combine with, and it is, in fact, America's most beloved flavor, thanks in part to its versatility and delicate taste profile that is delicious on its own or with other flavors.

For a bonus flavor, combine French vanilla with lemon, which can help offer a cakey taste similar to vanilla sponge cakes or lemon drizzles, two popular desserts from across the pond.

Orange and Mango

There are not many more refreshing flavors than orange and mango. In fact, whenever we Americans need our thirst quenched, one of the first juices we'll reach for is orange, which is the most popular juice drink in all the land, according to a juice survey by AYTM.

Mango also remains very popular as a juice, and it is most often combined with orange thanks to how well these two exotic fruits work together. They both also contain essential minerals, such as vitamin C, folate, and small amounts of potassium and fiber, making them super healthy and worthwhile to consume.

Although the Kona Ice syrups will not be as packed with these essential minerals, the ice and flavoring used in its low-calorie Vita-Blends are infused with Vitamins C and D, making them a pretty nutritional snack, especially when compared to its competitors.

Taste-wise, this combination will have the citrus kick you'll know and expect from an orange, mixed with the tropical floral tastes of mango, making it a simple yet tasty combination you shouldn't overlook.

Strawberry & Banana

Strawberries and bananas couldn't be two fruits more different from each other. The one grows from small plants potted in the ground and has a distinctively sweet taste and aroma, while the other is harvested from tropical trees and has a more mushy texture with a softer bite.

They do say opposites attract, though, and in the case of strawberries and bananas, it's a match made in heaven. These two fruits typically combine in the blender and are the basis of many fantastic smoothie drinks. Echo those tastes by mixing these two flavors in your Kona Ice, creating a refreshing and welcoming smoothie flavor that's recognizable and beautiful.

While the strawberry will be the dominant flavor in this combination, the banana undercuts this, creating a pleasant blend on the palate. Furthermore, Americans love bananas, which are easily the most consumed fruit in the country, partly because of their healthy properties, but mainly because we can't get enough of the flavor.

Cherry, Strawberry, and Raspberry

Mixing the distinctive and woodland flavors of cherry, strawberry, and raspberry will create a deep red fruit medley that will offer tasting notes of sweetness from the strawberry, sourness from the cherry, and a slightly acidic taste from the raspberry.

All of these flavors come together in your Kona shaved ice to create something pretty complex, but another reason this makes such a great combination is that the bright red color that these flavors create on your ice can actually help it taste even better.

This is because our brain subconsciously favors bright and red colors in our food and makes us perceive dishes in the color as being sweeter and more fun, thus more enjoyable. If you have a sweet tooth, this combination of flavors is a great way to satisfy your needs.

Although this combination of flavors can be very sugary in its natural form, the syrups from Kona Ice are often sugar-free, meaning you can enjoy these great flavors without the associated health risks of high sugar consumption.

Lucky Lime & Pink Lemon Sour

Sometimes, the most fun and exciting flavors are seen as challenging, and there's nothing as punishing yet delicious as super sour shaved ice. Kona already has a hyper-sour option with its Lucky Lime flavor, one of its Top 10 Flavors, which packs a tongue-tingling tangy taste on its own, but when paired with other sour options, you can create a fun flavor combination that might blow your head off.

One of the best things to pair Lucky Lime with is the brand's Pink Lemon Sour. This creates a double team of tang that is equally as delicious as sweet. If you're a sucker for sour tastes, this pairing will surely hit the spot.

As humans, we've evolved to enjoy the taste of sour food, with the rush of sharpness releasing certain chemicals in our brains that increase our enjoyment. According to Rob Dunn, an ecologist from the North Carolina State University who was interviewed by Science.org, the sour taste in food hints that it will be full of energy, which is why we as a species have sought after sour foods and have grown a sweet tooth that for some, only the sourest of concoctions like this flavor combination can satisfy.

Cherry and Vanilla

We've mentioned earlier that vanilla is a great Kona Ice flavor that pairs well with other syrups, although we may have withheld perhaps the best flavor you should pair it with, which you may not have considered.

When you pair vanilla with cherry, you'll create a unique and interesting combination close to the delicious taste of a cherry Bakwell tart. For some, a cherry Bakewell may be an item you've never heard of. This classic tart from Derbyshire, England, isn't the most popular or even a well-known desert in the U.S., but it is one that you should try if you have the chance.

Although getting a Bakewell tart in America can be tough to come by but you can sample this trademark dessert from across the pond by combining cherry and vanilla flavors in your Kona Ice. Doing so will create a delicate mix of sourness from the cherry and understated, velvety sweetness from the vanilla, which blends into a weirdly warm and homely taste.

If you're interested in trying to make a cherry Bakewell at home, it's important that you get your hands on some frangipane, as this helps give the Bakewell its distinctly warm flavor profile. You'll likely have to make this yourself, and it can be done by mixing ground almonds, butter, sugar, and eggs.

Banana, Strawberry, Vanilla, and Chocolate

Suppose you'd rather mimic the tastes of a desert that you've actually heard of. In that case, you can always combine banana, strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate to create a concoction that hits all the flavors from a classic banana split. A popular dessert from the '50s that has endured multiple decades, the banana split may not be the go-to dessert of hip and trendy Americans today, but it's still tasty and can be replicated as part of your Kona Ice.

Mixing these flavors creates a unique combination that's unlike many of the other suggestions, as instead of creating something refreshing and great to eat at the beachside, this is a much heavier and filling option that will make you feel more satisfied and content.

If this combination of flavors has inspired you to try the real thing at home, then you'll be happy to know that it's super easy to make a great banana split, and it is a dessert that you're able to customize and change depending on your unique tastes. 

Orange, Lemon, Blue Vanilla

If you're inspired by some of the mocktail combinations mentioned early on, another combination of Kona Ice flavors you can use is orange, lemon, and blue vanilla. When using these flavors together, you'll get the distinctly beachy and refreshing taste of a blue lagoon, a super beloved cocktail served at beach huts, bars, and many cocktail bars nationwide.

Although the cocktail's most vital ingredient is a shot of blue curacao, a famous liqueur from the Caribbean, you'll be able to get the distinctive blue lagoon flavor from the classic orange syrup available on the Kona Flavorwave. This is because blue curacao derives its delicious flavor from orange peel, which may be surprising due to its bright blue coloring. 

When replicating the flavors of this classic cocktail, adding a bit of blue vanilla to your Kona Ice is recommended. Not only will it help make the shaved ice sweater and tasty to eat, but it will also give your ice the trademark blue appearance of a blue lagoon, helping it look the part while also being a fun and enjoyable shaved ice to eat on any occasion, but especially on a hot, warm day.

If this combination of classic cocktail flavors, or the ones mentioned earlier on, has inspired you to try your own cocktail making, here are some of the classic cocktails you should know how to make.

Green Apple and Grape/Raspberry/Orange/Strawberry

If you want something a bit light-hearted and fun while paying homage to one of the most popular cartoon franchises of the '90s, you can combine green apple with either grape, raspberry, orange, or strawberry. These flavor combinations are known as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and pay homage to the quartet of pizza-loving, sewer-dwelling crime fighters with each secondary flavor evoking the colored bandana of a particular turtle.

The best way to enjoy a Ninja Turtle is as a group, where you can sample each other's shaved ice to figure out if you prefer spooning Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, or Raphael. All four secondary flavors go super well with the green apple base color, mixing the refreshingly fruity and sour taste of the apple with the sweet taste of the berries. That said, you can also be bold and mix all of these flavors into one pot, helping to get the best out of the Ninja Turtles: as a group.

Aesthetically, these shaved ice flavors are super fun and uniquely imaginative and make a refreshing option when eaten out in the sun. It's not just style over substance, though, as all four of these flavors are delicious and make a great Kona Ice combination you can only create with the assortment of syrups available on the Flavorwave.