We’re counting down the days to the Season 6 Mad Men premiere on April 7. Given the promotional images of Don and Meghan lounging on a beach in Hawaii – Meghan with blue drink in hand — we chose to toast the new season with the Blue Hawaii cocktail. This tropical concoction made its Mad Men debut in Season 4, Episode 3 (“The Good News”), when Joan Harris prepares a Hawaiian-themed New Year’s Eve dinner for husband Greg shortly before he deploys to Vietnam.
A popular cocktail in the 1960s, the Blue Hawaii, grew out of Americans’ infatuation with the nation’s newest state. Curaçao is a liqueur made from the oil of dried laharas orange peels grown on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. The oranges aren’t blue, of course. Colorants are used to make blue, orange, yellow and green curaçao.
Though named for the Aloha State, the Blue Hawaii is not truly of Hawaiian origin. The Bols liquor company, maker of blue curaçao, was looking for a way to increase sales of the product and asked a bartender at Waikiki’s Hawaiian Village Hotel to come up with a cocktail that would parlay Hawaii’s popularity into revenues.
Aloha, Season 6!
Recipe from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook (SmartPop, 2011).
Adapted from Sippin’ Safari: In Search of the Great “Lost” Tropical Drink Recipes and the People Behind Them by Jeff Berry (SLG Publishing, 2007) and Gourmet Magazine (June, 1969).
- 3 ounces pineapple juice
- 1 ½ ounces light rum
- 1 ounce sweet and sour mix (see recipe for homemade sweet and sour mix)
- 1 ounce Blue Curaçao
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 1 small cube fresh pineapple, plus a wedge for garnish
- 1 maraschino cherry, for garnish
- Homemade Sweet and Sour Mix
- ¾ cup water
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- To make the drink: In the container of a blender, mix pineapple juice, rum, sweet and sour mix, blue Curaçao, lemon juice and small cube of pineapple. Add ½ cup crushed ice and blend.
- Pour into a punch glass and garnish with a cherry and a small wedge of fresh pineapple.
- To make the Homemade Sweet and Sour Mix: Combine water and sugar in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and cool.
- In a pitcher, combine syrup, lemon juice and lime juice. Refrigerate until cold.