Opened in 1930, Cuba’s Hotel Nacional was one of the country’s most glamorous hotspots where you could rub shoulders with everyone from Ava Gardner to Nat King Cole to Winston Churchill. Wil P. Taylor, one of the hotel’s legendary barmen, created this namesake cocktail as a riff on the Daiquiri, but with even more tropical flair. It’s the kind of crowd-pleasing cocktail that’s so easy to drink, you’ll quickly down three without even realizing it.
The Blue Hawaii wasn’t named after the Elvis movie, like you might expect. In fact, the drink predates the film by four years. Bartender Harry Yee created the cocktail in 1957 while he was working at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. A Bols sales representative came to Yee asking for a drink made with the company’s blue curaçao liqueur...