Each sip of a Blue Hawaii makes you feel like you’re enjoying a beautiful beach vacation! This beautiful ocean-colored drink is fruity, somewhat sweet, and has a lovely bluish green shade to it. This famous cocktail features rum, vodka, and blue curacao liquors mixed with sweet and sour and pineapple juice.
There are plenty of beachy cocktails that steal my heart each summer. However, none of them quite scream “summer beach vacation” the way a blue Hawaii does! Everything about this cocktail makes you really feel like you’re at the beach. Perhaps it’s the rum, or it could be the pineapple juice… Whatever it is that makes this drink so perfectly summer-esque is positively addictive!
And don’t fret – if you’re worried this drink will be overly sweet, it’s surprisingly not! The Sweet and Sour Mix does a wonderful job at balancing the sweet ingredients to make this cocktail wholly refreshing and just slightly sweet.
Personally, I prefer cocktail that are on the lesser sweet side, so if you’re with me, you will love this one! This recipe is a traditional blue Hawaii, however, I increase the amount of liquor and use a homemade sweet and sour mix to make it slightly less sweet than normal.
However, if sweeter cocktails are your preference, you can always swap the white rum for coconut rum! Coconut rum will not only enhance the sweetness of the cocktail, but it’ll also give your drink an even more tropical flavor.
Origins of This Drink
The Blue Hawaii was first invented in 1957 by a famous bartender named Henry Yee in Honolulu’s Kaiser Hawaiian Village at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort. Rumor has it that he had a picky liquor rep at his bar that was asking him to create a very particular cocktail with involved specific mix of flavors (and the liquor he was pushing). Low and behold, Yee created something very special to add to his tiki cocktail repertoire! Henry Yee is recognized as the king of tropical tiki cocktails and it’s easy to see why.
Blue Hawaii vs Blue Hawaiian
Although they sounds almost the same, these two cocktails are actually different. They are both blue rum tiki cocktails, but the make up of each is a very different.
A Blue Hawaii is a cocktail that combines vodka, rum, blue curacao, sweet and sour mix, and pineapple juice. A Blue Hawaiian is not just a sweeter cocktail, but is a little creamy as well. It contains rum, pineapple juice, blue curacao, and cream of coconut. It can be served shaken over the rocks or blended.
Blue Hawaii Drink Ingredients
- Vodka – it’s best to keep the vodka plain and unflavored. There are a few different flavors in this drink already, you don’t want to add too much to the mix.
- White Rum – try to use rum (and vodka) that isn’t bottom shelf! Your cocktail will only be as good as the liquor you use. While you don’t necessarily need a top shelf bottle, you still want a good quality rum and vodka.
- Blue Curacao – The blue curacao gives the the cocktail its lovely blue color, and it provides a gentle citrus flavor that greatly compliments the pineapple juice.
- Sweet and Sour Mix – For best results, use a quick mix of fresh lemon juice and simple syrup. Equal parts of both is what you need. (To make simple syrup, combine equal parts of sugar and hot water until fully dissolved.)
- Pineapple Juice – You can use any pineapple juice you’d like for this recipe.
The best advice about ingredients in this cocktail comes from it’s creator himself, Henry Yee. Henry once said, “The blue Hawaii has to have vodka to be correct. And Bols curacao, because the others I don’t care for.“
How to Make a Blue Hawaii
First, start off by combining all of the ingredients for the blue Hawaii in a cocktail shaker. To make sure it’s nice and cold, toss some ice cubes in there as well.
Close the lid tightly and shake for a few seconds.
Strain the cocktail into the glass of your choice with some crushed ice. If you want to keep things traditionally beachy, use hurricane glasses!
Garnish your glass with a pineapple wedge or a slice of lemon. Other fun garnishes include pineapple leaves, maraschino cherries, tiny umbrellas, or any other tiki-inspired toppings. This is definitely a drink to have fun with!
Some More Summer Cocktail Recipes!
Piña Colada – made with only four simple ingredients, this Puerto Rican cocktail features frozen pineapple and cream of coconut blended to frozen perfection with white and topped with dark rum float.
Rum Punch – this Jamaican-style cocktail has a base of orange and pineapples juices and both, light and dark rums.
Strawberry Margarita – this sweet margarita combines fresh berries, aromatic reposado tequila, orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar for a touch of sweetness.
Paloma – grapefruit soda, tequila, fresh lime juice, and a little agave nectar come together to create an unforgettably delicious drink.
Blue Hawaii Cocktail
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz white rum
- 1 oz blue curacao
- 1 oz sweet and sour mix 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice and 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 3 oz pineapple juice
- pineapple wedge for garnish
- Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with some ice, close it tight, and shake for a few seconds.
- Strain the cocktail into a hurricane glass with crushed ice.
- Garnish with a pineapple wedge or lemon slice, pineapple leaf, cherries, umbrellas, or any other tiki style garnishes.