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Summertime Blues

Sate your need for refreshment with festive Blue Hawaiians

Summertime BluesI ordinarily eschew ingesting anything blue. Blue, in my estimation, is simply not a natural food color (with perhaps the exception of blueberries.) And I have long been especially wary of blue drinks, as they are all too often powerfully potent—in a sneaky, insidious sort of fashion. However, having confessed this, I must admit that there are occasions befitting blue beverages, as they are fabulously festive and nothing seems quite as tropical as a blue cocktail. Take for prime example the proverbial, pineapple-topped Blue Hawaiian. This bright blue libation is a classic summer drink, if a tad kitschy, that practically screams out to be adorned with a small paper parasol. (And, if it is an ideal Independence Day drink you seek, what could be more perfect than this frozen blue drink featuring a maraschino cherry, and perchance festooned with a tiny flag in lieu of the expected umbrella—outlandishly festive, you must admit.)
The history behind the Blue Hawaiian remains a bit hazy—as many memories involving alcohol inevitably are, especially when and where blue drinks are involved. However, I’d be willing to wager the creation occurred shortly after the release of the popular Elvis movie, Blue Hawaii, back in 1961. But what is certain is the drink’s characteristic blue color comes from blue curacao. Curacao is a liqueur made from small, bitter oranges from the island of Curacao, in the former Dutch West Indies. The liqueur is now made in several countries and comes in several colors—blue being the most oft employed to tint a variety of tropical libations a true blue. Coco Lopez or cream of coconut is another essential ingredient, adding the lush, creamy coconut flavor to the cocktail. And where would an island-inspired libation be without at least a smattering of fresh pineapple? Add them all together and whirl with that classic poison of the pirates—rum—and you have a dandy of a seasonal swill, sure to beat the heat and the summertime blues (pardon the hue humor). So bring on the Blue Hawaiians and be happy and frivolous—but be careful not to tipple too many. Cheers and have a splendid summer! •

Frozen Blue Hawaiian
1 oz. light rum
1 oz. blue curacao
1 oz. Coco Lopez
2 oz. pineapple juice
Pineapple slices, for garnish
Maraschino cherry, for garnish
Blend together the rum, curacao, Coco Lopez and pineapple juice with a cup of cracked ice. Serve garnished with a chunk of fresh pineapple and a cherry. Serve in a hurricane glass or other festive glassware. Makes 1 cocktail.

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