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How the Blue Hawaiian Cocktail Got Its Name

Blue Hawaiian

If you’re an ardent drinker of cocktails, you likely wonder what the inspiration behind their name is. You imagine who is behind the cocktails that have sent drinkers’ tastebuds tantalized. So, this time, we settle for the Blue Hawaiian cocktail and the recipes to try out this evening or coming weekend. So, how did the blue Hawaiian cocktail get its name? Read on to find out.

Why is it called the Blue Hawaiian cocktail?

According to The Spruce Eats, the Blue Hawaiian cocktail is a cool topical drink made from blue curacao, Rum, pineapple, coconut. It’s blue, resembling the beautiful ocean in Hawaii. The fun cocktail was invented by a bartender called Harry Yee in 1957. He was also a sales agent for Dutch distiller Bols, founded in 1575. Harry Yee started by trying different variations before discovering how unique the cocktail was. He tried other fruits before settling for pineapple, but they didn’t do the trick. Ultimately, he settled for pineapple, producing a sweet but sour taste. Thanks to its signature sky blue, pineapple wedge, and umbrella garnish, it’s easy to identify the drink. According to Got Rum, the drink was named after “Bing Crosby,” which was a song recorded in 1937 for “Waikiki Wedding,” a film by Paramount Pictures. It also shares a name with “Blue Hawaii,” which was created in 1961 by Elvis Presley.

The flavors explained

As mentioned earlier, the Blue Hawaiian cocktail contains Blue Curacao, pineapple, cream of coconut, and Rum. These ingredients texturize and bring out its sour-sweet flavor, hence the name Blue Hawaiian.

1. Rum

The blue Hawaiian cocktail often uses light Rum because it allows other ingredients to blend in easily. If the cocktail uses heavy Rum, the drink won’t have the sweet-and-sour flavor from the cream of coconut. The latter will also interfere with the tropical effect of the pineapple juice.

2. Cream of coconut

The cream of coconut used to make the Hawaiian cocktail comes from coconuts with perfect proportions of cane sugar. The combination makes it thick and sweet coconut milk that texturizes the Hawaiian cocktail. You can see bubbles floating in the drink thanks to the cream of coconut.

3. Pineapple juice

Pineapple juice originates from a tropical plant and can be used with or without sugar, but it must be concentrated. The juice undergoes pre-pasteurization then becomes filled aseptically. You can obtain it as a by-product and add a small peeling to increase its concentration.

4. Blue Curacao

Blue curacao is a blue-colored liqueur whose flavor is somewhere between bitter and sweet, almost like Grand Marnier. It contains between 15% and 40% ABV. The liqueur comes from Lahara orange, which originates from Curacao. Naturally, it is colorless, making it perfect to create the sky-blue color in Blue Hawaiian. According to A Couple Cooks, a 750ml bottle of Blue Curacao is worth only $10. You can also use it to prepare Aqua Velva or Blue Margarita.

How to make the Blue Hawaiian drink

The ingredients you will need

  • An ounce of Rum
  • An ounce of cream coconut, preferably Coco Lopez
  • An ounce of Blue Curacao
  • 3 ounces of pineapple juice
  • ½ cup of crushed ice

There are several ways of preparing this fun drink. You can choose to shake it with ice in a cocktail shaker before straining it into a tall cocktail glass. Another way is to put all the ingredients in a blender together for 15 seconds. Next, garnish it with a wedged pineapple and place a tiki umbrella for that Blue Hawaiian look. The outcome is the same regardless of the style you go for. However, the best way to serve is by freezing the ingredients to achieve an artificial taste. The best part about preparing the Blue Hawaiian is that you can experiment with fresh citrus or lemon if you want it less sweet. The exciting part about the bought sour mix is that it oozes an artificial flavor. You can use lime juice and fresh lemon to achieve fresh flavors. Alternatively, you can use a homemade sour mix with lemon juice and fresh lime. This combination works great with a margarita or whiskey sour too.

Is adding vodka necessary to the Blue Hawaiian cocktail?

You already know that the traditional Blue Hawaiian cocktail lacks vodka because bartenders and restauranteurs know their clients don’t want the exclusive bitter taste it creates. However, you’re free to experiment with vodka once in a while if you aren’t sweet-tooth. The aroma and flavor might differ from the traditional Blue Hawaiian cocktail with only Rum, but its color will remain intact. But if you want to stay with Rum, go for an aged one. Keep in mind that the combination might create a green tinge.

The best time to serve a Blue Hawaiian cocktail

Anytime is a good time for drinking the blue Hawaiian cocktail. However, it would be best to serve it during a dinner party in summer as a happy hour drink, signature cocktail, or girls’ night out drink. Remember, most people prefer it during hot days because it cannot go without ice. Whatever the case, a Blue Hawaiian cocktail is a fantastic drink for seasoned drinkers and serial party goers.


Whether you’re fishing in Northern Colorado or sitting pretty in your house, a glass of Blue Hawaiian makes you think you’re in a tropical paradise. Think of the aromatic notes and strong flavor it has, and you will feel blown away. A combination of rich blue color and unique artificial flavor from world-class ingredients expresses the actual work of creativity in the cocktail mixology arena.

Lily Wordsmith

Written by Lily Wordsmith

Lily Wordsmith is a freelance writer who has had a love affair with the written word for decades. You can find her writing blog posts and articles while sitting under a tree at the local park watching her kids play, or typing away on her tablet in line at the DMV. In addition to her freelance career, she is pursuing ebook writing with an ever-growing repertoire of witty ebooks to her name. Her diversity is boundless, and she has written about everything from astrobotany to zookeepers. Her real passions are her family, baking desserts and all things luxe.

Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith

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