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.

Blue Hawai-Tai Revisit

I am revisiting this cocktail after a few months and did a few variants to taste test. I was told it was too sweet, and I suppose that might be true for some people but it tastes great to me.

I would say that full pot-still rums like Rum-Bar or Rum Fire do work much better than the blended Wray & Nephew Overproof. I tested the “aged white rum” components with White Stache and Probitas and found that while I prefer the heavier Probitas overall this is a less important component than the White Overproof Jamaican rum portion.

Blue Hawai-Tai by Kevin Crossman
1 oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Orgeat
½ oz Simple Syrup
½ oz Blue Curacao
1 oz White Overproof Jamaican Rum
½ oz Aged White Rum

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with crushed ice. Shake and dump into a small snifter glass. Garnish with Mint and tropical fruit.

Book Club Cocktails

Mrs. Mai Tai hosted her monthly Book Club with friends and asked me to make cocktails for the group. This was the menu I came up with, intended to present some different kinds of flavors than are usually seen on mainstream cocktail menus.

  • The Pampanito: a Smuggler’s Cove recipe featuring Molasses Syrup
  • Saturn: a Gin-based cocktail with exotic cocktail sweeteners
  • Blue Hawaii: I included a little quarter ounce of Wray & Nephew Overproof to give this a little extra kick of flavor
  • Tradewinds: a great combination of coconut plus Apricot Liqueur

The cocktail that blew everyone away was the Saturn, served up. Even the attendees who said they didn’t like Gin found this delightful. I made more of these than the other cocktails combined.

I can see why people build or acquire bars for their homes; trying to make this many drinks sink-side in the kitchen is kind of a pain. But at least the results came out great.

Mai Tai with Eight White Rums for National Mai Tai Day

It is a tradition at Ultimate Mai Tai Headquarters to make a Mai Tai with a ridiculous number of rums to celebrate Mai Tai Day (2020, 2018, 2017 shown below). Oakland declared the city as being the birthplace of the cocktail and designated Mai Tai Day to to be August 30. So this is the day where true believers make a toast to the Mai Tai and to its inventor, Trader Vic Bergeron. Born in 1944, the Mai Tai is 77 years old today.

While the Mai Tai is best enjoyed with a premium aged rum, this year I decided to spotlight some quality “white” rums that despite their color and lack of years in a barrel are quite wonderful in a Mai Tai. These are all lighter rums that go far beyond the cheap and commonly seen unaged white rums. They are all flavorful expressions of our favorite spirit. Some of these are unaged, such as the overproof Jamaican rums, whereas others are aged up to 3 years and present as a light straw color or have their color filtered out. I used ¼ oz each, for a standard 2 oz rum portion.

From Left to Right:
Myers’s Platinum White
Charley’s JB Trelawny Blend
Denizen Aged White Rum
Three Rolls Estate White Rum
Wray & Nephew Overproof
Saint Benevolence Rum Clairin
Probitas
Clement Premiere Canne

And since all the rums are white, why not have a little fun and switch out the Orange Curacao for Blue? Giffard Blue Curacao is a quality liqueur and has a deep blue color. The Orgeat is Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 Formula, from Orgeat Works.

This Mai Tai does not hit you in the face with the rum, and it is smooth and easy to drink. Happy birthday Mai Tai.

Blue Mai Tai

I did a revised version of my Blue Hawai-Tai cocktail for a Mai Tai contest at a party this weekend. I thought I’d emulate the Mai Tai Festival they do every (non-COVID) year in Kona, where the winning Mai Tai never looks like a 1944. Always something new, different, or fancy. So I did a “more of a Mai Tai” version of the Blue Hawai-Tai by adding Lime juice and only using Orgeat as the sweetener. No fancy foam topping, though.

Blue Mai Tai
½ oz Lime Juice
½ oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Latitude 29 Orgeat
½ oz Giffard Blue Curacao
1½ oz Rum Fire Overproof Jamaican Rum
½ oz Probitas light rum
Garnish with Mint

I came in second in the contest. The winning entry was quite delicious in a more traditional format with Denizen Merchant’s Reserve and Plantation Dark. So, I can’t fault the judges at all. It was great. But, I do know a few of the judges really liked this version, so that was pretty satisfying.

Blue Monday?

Have you got a case of the Mondays? Improve your spirit on #MaiTaiMonday by making a Blue Hawai-Tai, the love child of the Mai Tai and the Blue Hawaii cocktails.

Blue Hawai-Tai by Kevin Crossman
1 oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Orgeat
½ oz Simple Syrup
½ oz Blue Curacao
1 oz White Overproof Jamaican (Rum Fire)
½ oz Aged White Rum (Probitas)

Blue Caribbean

Threw some of this and that from what was on-hand at home for this Blue Hawaiian riff with different kinds of rum than the light rum or vodka that is typically used. The Martinique rhum adds an unexpected finish that is delightful.

Blue Caribbean
½ oz Lime Juice
3 oz Pineapple Juice
1½ oz Coconut Creme
½ oz Blue Curacao
1¾ oz Clement Premiere Canne (or other unaged Rhum Agricole or Rum Clairin)
¼ oz Dark Jamaican rum blend (Appleton and Hamilton)

Home Bartender: Blue-Hawai-Tai

The Blue Hawaii and the Mai Tai had a baby, and it’s delicious.

Blue Hawai-Tai by Kevin Crossman
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz White Overproof Jamaican Rum (Rum-Bar Overproof)
½ oz Aged White Rum (Probitas)
½ oz Orgeat (Liquid Alchemist)
½ oz Simple Syrup
½ oz Blue Curacao (Giffard)