OJ and pineapple liven up this 1930s Hollywood thriller
Peak summer means you need peak refreshment. So we’re looking for cocktails that are lively and juicy.
Like the Honolulu Cocktail, which sports orange, pineapple, and lemon juice. The flavor is sunny and soothing, so it’s perfect for hot summer days.
Recipe: The Honolulu Cocktail
Given its name, you might think the Honolulu Cocktail hails from Hawaii. In fact, it originated during the 1930s as a house drink for the famed Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, California.
The Honolulu combines dry gin with pineapple, orange, and lemon juices. Originally, it may have used only a splash of each. That makes for an austere drink, though – one that’s almost martini-like. Over time, the cocktail has evolved to include more juice, which makes for a lusher version that stands up to hot weather.
This recipe takes about five minutes to prepare, and serves one.
- 1½ to 2 ounces dry gin (to taste; see Notes)
- ½ ounce pineapple juice
- ½ ounce orange juice
- ¼ ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ ounce simple syrup
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- garnish of lemon wedge/wheel (optional; you could also use a lemon twist)
- Place all ingredients (except garnish) in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the contents are chilled (about 20 seconds).
- Strain into a cocktail glass (preferably one that has been chilled). Garnish, if you wish, and serve.
- This drink often is served with a sugared rim. That’s too sweet for us, but you might like it.
- If you’re skipping the sugared rim but want a sweeter drink, just add a tad more simple syrup.
- Mixologists generally serve this drink “up” in a cocktail glass. But we also like it over ice in a rocks glass.
- How much gin to use in this drink? For the amount of juice we recommend, most recipes say 2 ounces (and that’s what we like). But if you prefer a more mellow drink, try 1½ ounces.
- You definitely want to use fresh-squeezed lemon juice in this cocktail. Its flavor is so much better than bottled or frozen.
- Fresh-squeezed OJ is preferable too. But bottled OJ (not from concentrate) works OK.
- How about the pineapple juice? We generally use canned juice, which is readily available and decent quality. (For cocktails, we buy it in small cans so we don’t waste too much.) But if you have fresh pineapple on hand, by all means use the juice from that.
“Aloha ‘oe,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “This drink makes me want to bust a hula move.”
“You might get strange looks at the Brown Derby,” I said.
“But after a couple of these,” said Mrs K R, “I wouldn’t care.”
Me neither. We’d be juiced.
You may also enjoy reading about:
Hula Hula Cocktail
Royal Hawaiian Cocktail
Blue Hawaii Cocktail
Bombay Presidency Punch
Eastern Sour Cocktail
Lemon Drop Cocktail
Or check out the index for more
Your list of cocktails amazes me with how many are named for Hawaii. I love the state, and have been there many times, but I don't think I ever ordered a cocktail at all -- just wine or maybe the local Kona Brewery Beer.
best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Hi Mae, Kona beer is good! Hawaii has such great fresh fruit, that if you find a cocktail place that uses it, the cocktails will be really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I truly don't know what I like better, the cocktail recipes or the banter at the end. Thank you for both. This sounds spectacular. We are possibly headed to the lake this weekend. Might be a fabulous screened porch, rocking chair, watching the boats at dusk refreshment.
Hi Anne, this would be terrific on your porch! Enjoy. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Maybe I will order this cocktail tonight when I go out for dinner. If they don’t know how to make it I will show them your post. Prost!
Hi Gerlinde, you'll like this! Enjoy. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Gin based cocktails tastes good. This looks sunny, bright and happy :-)
Hi Angie, shinny, bright, and happy is the perfect way to describe this drink! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love anything with pineapple juice - this one is probably my favorite drink yet!
Fresh, bright, tropical and wether you are drinking it in sunny Hollywood, Honolulu or Topeka Kansas it makes you feel like a movie star. Can't wait to try this weekend.
Hi Ashley, pineapple juice is really good in cocktails! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Bobbi, you might say this drink has real star-power. :-) Thanks for the comment.
So pretty, I love a cocktail served in a martini glass.
Hi Eva, we like cocktails served in martini glasses too! Thanks for the comment.
I sure could use a glass or two of that! It's like drinking sunshine. So pretty
Hi Kankana, it IS like drinking sunshine. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I'll take one in Hollywood, Honolulu or anywhere! Sounds delicious with those bright tropical flavors. ~Valentina
Hi Valentina, this is definitely a good anywhere drink. Or anytime. :-) Thanks for the comment.
well if I can't go to Honolulu right now then this should be the next best thing. :)
Lovely drink and great color!☺
Hi Dahn, at least it will help you dream of Honolulu. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Natalia, fun flavor, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh John, another gin cocktail...Honolulu from California, and yes,I have all the ingredients for it...thanks for this wonderful recipe.
I hope you are having a great week!
Hi Juliana, we do rather like gin cocktails. And rum. And bourbon. And . . . :-) Thanks for the comment.
Pineapple orange juice was the one combination we all hated in preschool...well, nursery school back then! I'm thinking my taste buds have evolved since then as this gorgeous, tropical cocktail looks perfect for a hot summer's eve!
Hi Liz, I'm betting your taste buds have evolved, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I bet this is one of those dangerous cocktails that sneaks up on you since it's so tasty and refreshing, not to mention pretty.
This is a guilt free cocktail! You get a daily dose of vitamin C while enjoying a drink with friends. Great cocktail John!
Hi Laura, this IS kind of a sneaky cocktail. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi MJ, it's healthy! :D Thanks for the comment.
Who doesn’t enjoy a thrilling cocktail like this? I could use one now!
Hi David, definitely a thriller of a drink! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oooh, any drink that transports me to Hawaii is a welcome one! I'll have to put on my flip-flops and make one pronto.
Hi Carolyn, definitely a flip-flop drink. :-) Really good -- we had this again last night! Thanks for the comment.
Hi R, yup. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Refreshing and delicious!
Hi Pam, it is! :-) Thanks for the comment.
The freshness of summer in a refreshing glass. This is delightful :D
Nice! If I can't visit it, at least I can drink it.
Hi Merryn, this is really refreshing. And tasty. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Amalia, always nice to do both, of course. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Fabulous!I love gin based drinks. Even though it is made with grains I never had any gluten allergy with it.
Hi Balvinder, glad you're able to drink this -- it's good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Gin and citrus?! Yum! My kind of drink!
Hi Amy, it's a great combo! :-) Thanks for the comment.
this sounds delicious and refreshing:) bottoms up!
Hi Sherry, it is, it is. Bottoms up! Thanks for the comment.
Presentation is really perfect. It looks delicious.
Hi Bread & Salt, it IS delish. :-) Thanks for the comment.
You always give me great recipes for enjoying gin, fruity is definitely my favorite way to enjoy a cocktail.
Hi Emma, this is refreshing -- so nice at this time of the year. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I made this last night, and it was fantastic! It was every bit as good as any drink I've had in a fancy bar. Although I do like gin, the gin in this drink really blends into the overall flavor, and it doesn't come off as tasting like a gin drink - at least not to me. At the same time, however, the type of gin does really matter. I liked it best with Bombay Sapphire.
Hi Jeff, glad you liked it! Gin has an amazing ability to blend, doesn't it? Our "house" gin is Beefeater, which blends pretty while with drinks while retaining some personality. Bombay Sapphire is a good cocktail gin, too. For those that want something a bit less "gin-like" I usually suggest Plymouth -- a much smoother, gentler gin. Thanks for letting us know you made & liked this!
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