Forbidden Island 17th Anniversary

Had a nice afternoon in Alameda on the patio with friends celebrating Forbidden Island‘s 17th anniversary. The seminal third wave tiki bar opened in 2006 and is still going strong. We were glad to stay outdoors in prep for our upcoming trip to the British Isles, so we missed the live Hawaiian music and hula from Haopinaka, but it sounded great from afar.

Fun on the patio at Forbidden Island

Copalli rum was doing free tastings of their line, including a delightful cask strength expression picked by Forbidden Island. Copalli was present in one of my cocktails, the nicely balanced Copalli Chartreuse Swizzle. Gotta order those Chartreuse cocktails when the French herbal liqueur is still actually available.

Following up from my visit a few weeks back I tried the Infinite Coastline again, but this time with the robust and boozy Rum Fire Jamaica Rum. I really liked this and it remains, as they say, easy drinking.

Nice to see so many familiar faces celebrating Forbidden Island’s birthday – and there was even cake. Congrats to Michael Thanos and all the staff who keep FI going strong.

Infinite Coastline at Forbidden Island – Blue Hawaii Riff

The Blue Hawaii cocktail is usually not my jam, especially when it has a ton of pineapple juice and only uses vodka.

But I thoroughly enjoyed this Infinite Coastline at Forbidden Island the other day. The Blue Curaçao liqueur was forward in the cocktail and the light rum was a very nice accent. Best Blue Hawaii I’ve had in… maybe ever.

You can also order this with Rum Fire Overproof Jamaica Rum, which is 63% ABV and totally delicious. That version is $2 more and I’m sure is the quintessential version. I would have done this except I’d already had another cocktail and was driving.

Be sure to check out the Infinite Coastline the next time you’re at Forbidden Island.

Best Blue Hawaii I’ve had in… maybe ever.

DeKuyper Blue Curaçao

This inexpensive Blue Curacao has wide distribution and so I thought I’d give it a try and compare to the gold standard for the category, Giffard Curaçao Bleu. DeKuyper is 24% ABV and the Giffard is 25%, so an even comparison.

I made a traditional Blue Hawaii cocktail, including a split base with Vodka and Light Puerto Rican Rum (Trader Vic’s), though with only two ounces of Pineapple Juice. The Giffard has a deeper blue color, and a noticeable and pleasant orange flavor on the cocktail. The DeKuyper looked okay but didn’t elevate the cocktail at all.

Next, I made two Blue Hawai-Tais. This is a Mai Tai riff using lemon juice and featuring a flavorful light rum (Hamilton White Stache) and a Jamaican Overproof (Wray & Nephew). The orgeat used this time was Liber, hence the slightly creamy consistency. The conclusion was the same in that the Giffard improved the cocktail with a delightful orange flavor you can taste, and a deeper blue as well.

DeKuyper Blue Curaçao doesn’t impart any unpleasant flavors and is around $10 a bottle. So, it isn’t terrible at all, but not really that great either.

National Cocktail Day Cocktail

I’ve been mostly on the wagon for the past two weeks after coming back from Bakersfield with a pretty bad flu. But felt well enough to try a few things tonight. The Blue Curacao was being used for a comparison test we’ll cover in the upcoming days.

But I had a little bit left over, so made myself a quick and dirty unmeasured cocktail. And you know it ain’t too shabby.

National Cocktail Day Cocktail
2 glugs of Giffard Blue Curacao
2 glugs of Probitas Rum
1 scant pour of Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Orange Bitters
Stir with ice

The orange bitters actually did improve this a little and there’s nothing wrong with a half-half pour of my favorite Blue Curacao and my favorite “white” rum.

Happy National Cocktail Day!

Blue Caribbean (Revised)

A Blue Hawaiian riff I came up with a year ago and decided to revisit. This version has less Pineapple Juice and uses a lightly aged “gold” Jamaican rum rather than a dark one.


Blue Caribbean
½ oz Lime Juice

1 oz Pineapple Juice

1½ oz Coconut Creme

½ oz Blue Curacao

1¾ oz Unaged Rhum Agricole

¼ oz Lightly Aged Jamaican Rum
Shake with crushed ice.

Recipe: Blue Hawaii (Modified)

Went out to dinner last night in the Bay Area suburbs. Lazy Dog Restaurant has a “Blue Hawaiian” on the menu that’s pretty close to Harry Yee’s original blue cocktail. Pineapple, Sweet & Sour, Rum, Vodka – and OJ. It came out really green but the taste was just fine.

At home I made one with a modified recipe that was even better.

Blue Hawaii (Modified)
½ oz Lemon Juice
2 oz Pineapple Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup
½ oz Blue Curacao
1½ oz White Rum Blend
Shake with crushed ice.

My white rum blend is made from almost empty bottles of Denizen 3, Wray & Nephew Overproof, Myers’s White, and Three Rolls Estate. So a bit more flavorful than your standard Puerto Rican White. And way better than Vodka.

I used Giffard Blue Curacao. For this drink, I think adding another half ounce of Blue Curacao for a float would look nicer and add a bit more sweetness to the cocktail.

Note that Harry Lee celebrated his 104th birthday this week. You can read an essay about Yee from Hawaiian journalist Rick Carrol, circa late 1990s, on this website.

“Blue Hawaiian” from Lazy Dog

Trader Vic’s Tiki Stem Coupe

Picked up a couple of these very nice Tiki Stem Coupes from the Trader Vic’s online store. The 7 ounce glass is a little larger than my current coupes, and looks fabulous as well. Vic’s also has a couple smaller glass options, while still keeping the tiki stem.

The cocktail is the Blue Caribbean, a Blue Hawaiian riff featuring Rhum Agricole.

Blue Caribbean
½ oz Lime Juice
3 oz Pineapple Juice
1½ oz Cream of Coconut
½ oz Blue Curacao
1¾ oz Clement Premiere Canne (or other unaged Rhum Agricole)
¼ oz Dark Jamaican rum
Shake with Crushed Ice

A bit of a tight fit into this particular glass.

When I first developed this cocktail I served it in a Collins glass with crushed ice and that’s probably a better format than being served up. I do like how the Rhum Agricole works with the Pineapple and Cream of Coconut, provide a more complex flavor. Adding a tiny bit of flavorful Dark Jamaican rum adds an additional bit complexity without darkening up the cocktail.