With Spring Break in full swing for so many, yet the beautiful beaches out of reach for the vast majority it seems appropriate to bring Hawaii to the masses in the form of drink. Perhaps Hawaii is better known for more unusual drinks using ingredients such as papaya or Li Hing Mui, but the Blue Hawaiian is the cocktail with the namesake.
In researching the Blue Hawaiian, so many versions surfaced it was difficult to decipher which one was the “real” Blue Hawaiian and which ones were the imposters. What also came to the forefront is another drink often confused for the Blue Hawaiian; the Blue Hawaii. These two drinks share a name so similar it is no wonder they are often confused by many a bartender and patron alike. So let’s break down the difference.
A true Blue Hawaiian never contains vodka, but rather rum. It also uses cream of coconut rather than sweet and sour mix. Adversely, the Blue Hawaii uses vodka instead of rum and sweet and sour mix, but no cream of coconut. Both however share something in common always; Blue Curacao.
Blue Curacao is essentially an orange liqueur infused with the dried peels of the Larahas plant which is derived from the Valencia orange. The difference between Blue and Orange Curacao is the color. Substituting one for the other in a drink will only change the color, not the taste.
The Blue Hawaii has an advantage over the Blue Hawaiian in that it makes for quite the easy party punch as well as individual cocktail drink. Since the Blue Hawaiian traditionally calls for cream of coconut which needs thorough stirring, shaking or blending, it is not conducive to a punch bowl setting.
So, you decide. Pour over ice, stir, shake, or put the blender on puree. Set your sights on the sandy beaches of Hawaii, sit back and sip a tall, cool one. Choose one or try them all.
1 ounce Bacardi Rum
2 ounces Pineapple Juice
1 ounce Blue Curacao
1 ounce Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
Pineapple chunks for garnish
Pour liquid ingredients plus approximately one cup of ice in a blender. Mix at high speed until thoroughly liquefied with no ice chunks. This should take a few minutes. Pour contents into a Collins glass. Garnish with a skewer of fresh pineapple chunks.
1-1/2 ounce Smirnoff Vodka
1 ounce Blue Curacao
1 ounce Sweet & Sour Mix
1 ounce Pineapple Juice
2 to 3 ounces Orange Juice
Garnish: Pineapple chunks or maraschino cherry
Combine ingredients in order given into a Collins glass filled half full of ice. Stir briefly. Garnish with a skewer of pineapple chunks or top with a simple maraschino cherry. To make this recipe into a punch simply multiply the recipe ratios.
For a blend of both worlds try this cocktail using vodka plus coconut rum instead of cream of coconut:
The Blue Hawaii Cocktail
1 ounce Jaguar Vodka
1/2 ounce Blue Curacao
1/2 ounce Parrot Bay Coconut Rum
1-1/2 ounce Pineapple Juice
3/4 ounce Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled 1/3 full of ice. Shake thoroughly for ten to fifteen seconds. Strain into a well chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.