I’ve been searching for The Blue Hawaii for about five years, and last week — while vacationing on the Big Island — I found it.
See, way back when at a Sandals resort in Jamaica¹, I enjoyed what was referred to as The Cactus Cooler at the resort’s Mexican restaurant. I returned home knowing only that the tropical cocktail contained pineapple juice and booze, and it was the most memorable (read: tastiest) food or drink that I enjoyed that night. (Not surprisingly, it doesn’t appear that said restaurant is open anymore.)
In this version of The Blue Hawaii, I lighten up the typical sticky sweetness of the drink twofold by substituting fresh lemon and lime juice and a spoonful of powdered sugar — so it dissolves completely and gives the drink a touch of opacity — instead of bottled sweet and sour mix, and using Cointreau (with a drop of blue food coloring to give the cocktail its trademark hue) instead of blue curaçao. Be warned: the pineapple juice is far-to-skilled at masking the generous amount of booze used in the libation — tread carefully with this one!
P.S. Stay tuned for some non-cocktail recipes next week! Anything in particular you’d like to see?
The Blue Hawaii
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 cocktail
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup or 113 grams) pineapple juice
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons or 28 grams) gluten-free vodka (I like Tito’s Vodka or Vodka Monopolowa)
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons or 28 grams) white rum
- 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon or 14 grams) Cointreau
- 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon or 14 grams) lime juice
- 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon or 14 grams) lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon (2 grams) powdered sugar, more or less to taste
- 1 drop McCormick blue food coloring
- Pineapple wedge for garnish (optional)/li>
Shake it up:
In a Mason jar (with lid, pint capacity or larger) or cocktail shaker, combine pineapple juice through powdered sugar plus 1 drop food coloring with a few cubes of ice. Cover and shake for about 30 seconds, or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is cold and frothy. Strain into glass (about 10-ounce capacity or larger), add some ice cubes or crushed ice, garnish with pineapple wedge and serve!
¹ Full disclosure: This honeymoon destination decision was heavily influenced by an episode of The Office. Plus San Francisco winter weather coupled with the hectic busy seasons of two financial statement auditors, yours truly and Mr. Sage. But mostly The Office. Not a recommended decision-making process!