Ring the bell, it's time for Last Call, where JK Grence, bartender at Shady's, serves up booze advice and recipes. Got a burning question for your bartender? Leave it in the comments and it might be answered in a future column.
In case you haven't noticed, the Presidential election is just a few days away. If you're having friends over to watch the election results roll in (you wild and crazy animal, you), it's time to think about what to serve for drinks. Of course, I'm here to help.
If you've already read my party guide, you know it's best to serve only one or two cocktails at a party. As much as I'd love to have cocktails for my Libertarian and Green friends, the obvious choice is to have drinks ready in Republican red and Democrat blue.
There are quite a few red cocktails out there. One problem: Mitt Romney is a devout Mormon, and therefore a strict teetotaler. It doesn't seem right to serve an alcoholic beverage in his honor. What's non-alcoholic and bright red? Shirley Temples, of course. Since I've already shown you how to make your own grenadine for them, half of the party is already in the bag.
That leaves us to find a drink for Democrats. Barack Obama is 50-something, and born in Honolulu. One of the most famous blue drinks is also 50-something and born in Honolulu. It's a perfect match.
The Blue Hawaii was invented in 1957 (yes, older than the President) by legendary tropical bartender Harry Yee. He's the guy responsible for many tropical drink traditions. Ever seen a tropical drink that was garnished with an orchid or a back scratcher? Both of those were Yee's idea. He's also the one who started putting little paper parasols in drinks. That's right, he's the man single-handedly responsible for those extra-tall (and sometimes extra-strong) cocktails derisively known as "umbrella drinks". While Yee was working at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, representatives from spirits maker Bols asked him to create a beverage to showcase their blue curaçao liqueur. The Blue Hawaii was the result.
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Much like a good Hawaiian vacation, the Blue Hawaii is about as stress-free as it gets. The measurements are very forgiving; this is one that you can eyeball and still come out OK. The original recipe calls for sweet-and-sour mix. Since I can't bring myself to use that stuff, this recipe calls for its constituent parts of citrus juice and simple syrup. Note that if your pineapple juice is especially yellow, your Blue Hawaiis will come out with a turquoise cast (like mine). If this happens to you and you want it bluer, add a little extra blue curaçao, or cheat and add a few drops of blue food coloring.
Blue Hawaii 3 ounces pineapple juice ½ ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice (or a combination of lemon and lime if you're so inclined) ½ ounce simple syrup ½ ounce blue curaçao ¾ ounce silver rum ¾ ounce vodka Shake everything with lots of ice. Pour unstrained into a tall glass. Harry Yee would be proud if you garnished it with a small paper parasol.