Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I have a weird thing for blue drinks. The color is so serene, I could just stare into it for hours. It brings to mind tropical beaches and there are worse things I could be thinking of. And typically, they have rum in them. We all know of my love for rum.

Appropriately enough, the Blue Hawaii was created in Hawaii. Specifically, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, Hawaii. Harry Yee (legendary head bar tender at the Hilton) was asked to create a drink that highlighted the blue coloring Curacao liqueur lent to beverages. The original recipe differs from today's popular drink; though the blue color, pineapple wedge, and cocktail umbrella remained. Yee named the drink after Leo Robin's 1937 hit of the same name. Not after the Elvis Presley movie, as is most commonly thought.

Usually, the cocktail is served over ice - which is how I like it. But you will see a blended variation; as I've mentioned before, Tiki cocktails always get a free blended pass. As in all Tiki cocktails, the Blue Hawaii should always be served in a Tiki glass or another whimsical variation. The most "straight-laced" vessel would be a Hurricane Glass (as seen in the picture above).

As mentioned above, this drink usually has rum in it. You may substitute vodka if you prefer, but that liquor has very little flavor and rum is more traditional. Flavored rum and vodka are acceptable and can add a little kick; Malibu Rum is a good one that adds the flavor of coconut without using actual coconut milk or creme, which would change the drink entirely (then it would be a Blue Hawaiian - totally different!). Other substitutes include sweet and sour mix for pineapple juice. You could do that, but, really, why would you?

Blue Hawaii
3/4 ounce light rum
1/2 ounce blue Curacao
3 ounces pineapple juice, unsweetened

Combine all ingredients with ice and stir (in a glass) or shake (in a shaker). Pour into a Hurricane glass with the ice. Suggested garnish: score a wedge of pineapple and a wedge of orange and inert onto the rim of the glass; spear a maraschino with a toothpick or (even better) paper umbrella and attach to the fruit. If you don't want all that, you can just float any of the fruit in the drink.

As with the Bloody Mary, you can find pre-made mixes of this drink but what's the point? This drink is so easy to make. And you can serve it as a punch if you have a big enough party going on; dump a bottle or two of plain or coconut flavored rum, a bottle of blue Curacao, a can of pineapple juice and a bag of ice into a large punch bowl. Give it a stir and maybe float some of the fruit in it and Bob's your uncle.
Ah, yes. Be aware that the pineapple juice make the drink a little more green. It's science!

The only real variation (aside from the vodka for rum) is the Blue Hawaiian. Substitute creme of coconut for the pineapple/sweet and sour mix and you're done. That's it! Oh, and only use rum.

With summer on it's way, this is the perfect drink to get ready for it! Next week we celebrate Peggy Olson's favorite cocktail!


  1. I stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village! I'm digging your blog, ma'am!

  2. Thanks very much! If there's anything you want me to post about, let me know on my Facebook Fan page - I'll send you a link ;)