Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Blue Hawaiian: A Taste of Waikiki

Harry Yee was head bartender at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel in Waikiki, when in 1957 he was asked by a representative of Bols to create a new drink using the company's new Blue Curacao liqueur. The Blue Hawaii, or often called Blue Hawaiian was born. There are numerous variations of this recipe, many using Cream of Coconut, but this is the authentic recipe. Harry Yee, in addition to being the inventor of many popular cocktail including the Banana Daquiri, was also the first person to use an orchid as a cocktail garnish.

The introduction of the Vanda orchid into the tropical cocktail, which ranks right up there with the olive in the martini, occurred one moonlit night in Waikiki in 1955, but it had nothing to do with romance."I was the first to use orchids," Yee said. "You know why? We used to use a sugar cane stick and people would chew on the stick, then put it in the ashtray. When the ashes and cane stuck together it made a real mess so I put the orchids in the drink to make the ashtrays easier to clean. I wasn't thinking about romance," he said, "I was being practical." His most famous creation, the neon-hued Blue Hawaii, set the standard for tropical cocktails and still remains one of the most requested drinks in Hawaii to this day. 

Blue Hawaiian

Serves 4

3 oz Light Puerto Rican Rum
3 oz Vodka
2 oz Bols Blue Curacao
12 oz fresh pineapple juice
4 oz Rose's Sweet & Sour Mix

Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. If using ice, mix the ingredients in a blender. Serve in a tall punch glass and garnish with a slice of pineapple, Maraschino cherry and a vanda orchid blossom.

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