This Blue Hawaii Is Your Own Personal Paradise

This electric-blue cocktail tastes like cotton candy swirled into a melted Otter Pop, with a judicious dose of high-proof liquor.

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Jul 13 2017, 7:00pm

Even the moodiest, gothest, most melanoma-prone naysayer among you can't deny the pleasure of an electric-blue cocktail that tastes something like cotton candy swirled into a melted Otter Pop, with a judicious dose of high-proof liquor.

It's called the Blue Hawaii, and it puts the motion in our ocean.

It gets its signature Kool-Aid hue from blue curaçao, a remnant of a nearly forgotten cocktail culture of the 1950s and 60s that was heavy on vodka, cream, and other weird shit that we have since shoved to the back of our parents' antiquated liquor cabinets. The Blue Hawaii itself was born of a desire to use blue curaçao in a way that was both palatable and visually interesting; when Hilton Hawaiian Village bartender Harry Yee encountered the stuff in 1957, he created a cocktail that at once became the inspiration for an Elvis Presley film and, later, the poster child for overly sweet, mixer-based tropical cocktails that will leave you with more of a headache than a decent buzz.

But our version, courtesy of Joseph Brook at The 86 Company (a New York-based spirits company founded by cocktail masterminds Simon Ford, Jason Kosmas, and Dushan Zaric) sticks to the classic formula: quality vodka and rum, blended with fresh fruit juice and simple syrup—and, of course, some blue curaçao.

RECIPE: The Perfect Blue Hawaii

We serve ours in a turtle terrarium, but a regular glass will do just fine in a pinch.