THE BLUE HAWAII

Blue is the new black.

There’s something alluring about blue cocktails, they’re exciting and almost exotic, definitely tropical. The Blue Hawaii: a vacation in liquid form!

Even if you can’t jet off to Honolulu, you can still enjoy a taste of tropical paradise with this blue drink. Mix up a round and let your imagination set the scene: pristine beaches, cloudless skies, an aloha shit – and don’t forget to croon like Elvis!


The roots

The Blue Hawaii is the blue version of the popular Pina Colada, splitting the coconut to allow room for blue curacao, the orange liqueur (dyed blue with food coloring) that is responsible for the color.

Hawaii was on fire in the early 1960s. And not just from volcanoes. It had become a state in 1959, the 50th to join the US. Then Elvis Presley made a hit movie called “Blue Hawaii” in 1961 — just as a cocktail was gaining popularity.

Many people assume the Blue Hawaii Cocktail got its name from the Elvis movie. In fact, however, the drink preceded that movie’s release; it was created in 1957 by Harry Yee, a bartender at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The drink did have a Presley connection — just not the obvious one. Yee actually named his cocktail after a 1937 song that Bing Crosby made famous in the film “Waikiki Wedding.” Years later, Elvis sang the same song in his film — and it gave its name to his movie.

In the decades that followed, blue drinks disappeared in the land of tiki-tacky. Most people associated “blue” with sweet rum drinks. You could order them only if you were an American on vacation, but that was about it. And when cocktail culture revived, blue drinks were banished from most cocktail menus.

But there’s no denying it: this festive blue cocktail will help you get in the vacation mood!


bluehawaii1The makin’s
¾ parts rum
¾ parts blue curacao
¾ parts crème of coconut
2 parts pineapple juice
Maraschino cherry for garnish
Pineapple wedge for garnish

The drill
Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes
Stir well
Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice cubes
Garnish with the cherry and pineapple

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