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Cocktail Recipes

Blue Hawaii

Not to be confused with the Blue Hawaiian, this cocktail is the product of 1957 Waikiki bartender Harry Yee and his famous experiment with blue curaçao.

The Blue Hawaii is the ultimate bartender blue drink. [Full Disclosure: I love blue cocktails. LOVE THEM. I’m incredibly biased on this subject.] It was created in 1957 by famous Hilton Bartender Harry Yee, whose passion for tiki is known around the world. The story goes that a liquor rep from the Bols company brought Harry their new version of blue curaçao and asked him to create a signature cocktail to help market the liqueur. Harry used ingredients already familiar to tourists seeking a tiki experience in Waikiki: pineapple and rum.

While many people think of this as a sweet cocktail, it is actually meant to be dry and citrusy, almost verging on too sour. The vodka in this drink keeps the proof high and the drink dry, while the lime and pineapple contribute a tropical feeling. Feel free to up the amount of sugar syrup if you’d prefer. I don’t think Harry would mind much.


Blue Hawaii

1 oz Rum

3/4 oz Vodka

1 1/2 oz Pineapple

1/2 oz Lime

1/2 oz Lemon

1/2 oz Blue Curaçao

1/4 oz Rich Sugar Syrup (2:1)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker tin with ice. Shake well, about 40 seconds.
  2. Double strain into a Collins glass packed with ice. Garnish with a chunk of pineapple and cherry.

My version of the Blue Hawaii keeps the focus on the original dry style but makes three significant changes: it switches Pisco in for vodka, adds coconut, and adds Green Chartreuse. This creates a much more herbaceous and complex cocktail, brimming with the same tropical flavors guests are used to when they see an electric blue drink.

Chartreuse is a 110 proof French liqueur made from 130 secret ingredients. Only two monks know the original recipe (c. 1605) and oversee the oak cask aging of this botanic spirit.


Rosecrest Pool Pass

1 oz Rum

1 oz Pisco

3/4 oz Green Chartreuse

1/2 oz Lemon

1/2 oz Lime

1/2 oz Cream of Coconut

1/2 oz Blue Curaçao

1/4 oz Demerara Syrup (2:1)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker tin with ice. Shake well, about 40 seconds.
  2. Double strain into a coupe glass packed with ice. Garnish with a lemon peel and cherry.

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