Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

It Takes a Finnish Village to Make This Vodka

It Takes a Finnish Village to Make This Vodka

The story of collaboration and great water

The bespoke cocktail world is booming. But while everyone is throwing back Negronis and sipping on artisanal local whiskies, vodka sales are slipping. Even though strongly flavorful — even bitter — cocktails are in vogue, there’s something about a smooth, mixable spirit that lets the other ingredients shine.

Perhaps the world needs to venture outside the familiar vodka brands and taste what Finland has to offer. Although its name might be difficult for Americans to pronounce, Koskenkorva is a town of roughly 2,000 people in western Finland — and the vodka of the same name contains the spirit of the village and the best the area has to offer.

Since 1953, local barley (from within 120 miles) and water have been combined at a distillery in Koskenkorva. The vodka has since become perhaps Finland’s signature spirit in the time since — to the extent that the tiny village also hosts a museum dedicated to alcohol in Finland, right next door to the distillery.

This Finnish town isn’t the only town dedicated to the production of a product. In Italy, Brunello Cucinelli invested in an Umbrian village for the production of his luxurious cashmere clothing.

So say Kippis! with a Finnish vodka in your next Bloody Mary or another quick cocktail.


Sea Blues

It’s a poolside sipper and a musical rom-com starring a then-skinny, ebony-haired postwar Elvis Presley. The Blue Hawaii is one of those iconic cocktails that encapsulates its namesake location every bit as the backdrop of Diamond Head volcano crater on Waikiki Beach. Now a modern take at the very location where the original was first mixed pays homage to its creator and to contemporary cocktail culture.

The Blue Hawaii was created in 1957 at Honolulu’s Kaiser Hawaiian Village (now Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort) by legendary head bartender Harry Yee. The story parallels that of the Moscow Mule, in which the genesis of the recipe was to promote and sell a boozy ingredient, in this case blue curaçao.

A sales representative of Dutch distiller Bols asked Yee to design a drink that featured this shocking azure citrus liqueur. After experimenting with several different versions, he settled on one that shook (or blended, depending on guest preference) vodka, light rum, curaçao, pineapple juice and sweet-and-sour mix, served in a tall glass garnished with a pineapple and a cherry.

The cocktail predates Hawaii’s statehood by two years, and it’s not Yee’s only claim to fame. “He’s also credited with being the first to add banana to a Daiquiri and is also remembered for his signature garnishes,” says Benjamin Lihn, the beverage director at Hilton Hawaiian Village. “My favorite is a unique and memorable wooden back scratcher to accompany the highly potent Tropical Itch.”

But back to his timeless tipple, which made its way all over Oahu in versions that may stray far from the original. In September 2018, in honor of Yee’s hundredth birthday, the hotel hosted a reception for his friends and family, along with a bartending competition where a half-dozen local bartenders offered elevated riffs on the classic.

The Sea Blues is the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s own inspired take available at the property’s Bali Steak & Seafood. It starts with a base of Ocean vodka, which is distilled on Maui using organic sugar cane and deep ocean water, and mixed with Malibu coconut rum, Bols blue curaçao and freshly pressed lemon and pineapple juices. It’s presented over an ice sphere made with coconut water and cream of coconut in a glass rimmed with toasted coconut flakes and garnished with an orchid. As the ice melts, the drink takes on a creamy mellow flavor and silky texture that are both pretty irresistible.

As Lihn says, “There’s nothing comparable to enjoying a Blue Hawaii (or any of its thoughtful incarnations) looking out over Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach and the place that started it all.” Mahalo, Yee.


Sea Blues

It’s a poolside sipper and a musical rom-com starring a then-skinny, ebony-haired postwar Elvis Presley. The Blue Hawaii is one of those iconic cocktails that encapsulates its namesake location every bit as the backdrop of Diamond Head volcano crater on Waikiki Beach. Now a modern take at the very location where the original was first mixed pays homage to its creator and to contemporary cocktail culture.

The Blue Hawaii was created in 1957 at Honolulu’s Kaiser Hawaiian Village (now Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort) by legendary head bartender Harry Yee. The story parallels that of the Moscow Mule, in which the genesis of the recipe was to promote and sell a boozy ingredient, in this case blue curaçao.

A sales representative of Dutch distiller Bols asked Yee to design a drink that featured this shocking azure citrus liqueur. After experimenting with several different versions, he settled on one that shook (or blended, depending on guest preference) vodka, light rum, curaçao, pineapple juice and sweet-and-sour mix, served in a tall glass garnished with a pineapple and a cherry.

The cocktail predates Hawaii’s statehood by two years, and it’s not Yee’s only claim to fame. “He’s also credited with being the first to add banana to a Daiquiri and is also remembered for his signature garnishes,” says Benjamin Lihn, the beverage director at Hilton Hawaiian Village. “My favorite is a unique and memorable wooden back scratcher to accompany the highly potent Tropical Itch.”

But back to his timeless tipple, which made its way all over Oahu in versions that may stray far from the original. In September 2018, in honor of Yee’s hundredth birthday, the hotel hosted a reception for his friends and family, along with a bartending competition where a half-dozen local bartenders offered elevated riffs on the classic.

The Sea Blues is the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s own inspired take available at the property’s Bali Steak & Seafood. It starts with a base of Ocean vodka, which is distilled on Maui using organic sugar cane and deep ocean water, and mixed with Malibu coconut rum, Bols blue curaçao and freshly pressed lemon and pineapple juices. It’s presented over an ice sphere made with coconut water and cream of coconut in a glass rimmed with toasted coconut flakes and garnished with an orchid. As the ice melts, the drink takes on a creamy mellow flavor and silky texture that are both pretty irresistible.

As Lihn says, “There’s nothing comparable to enjoying a Blue Hawaii (or any of its thoughtful incarnations) looking out over Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach and the place that started it all.” Mahalo, Yee.


Sea Blues

It’s a poolside sipper and a musical rom-com starring a then-skinny, ebony-haired postwar Elvis Presley. The Blue Hawaii is one of those iconic cocktails that encapsulates its namesake location every bit as the backdrop of Diamond Head volcano crater on Waikiki Beach. Now a modern take at the very location where the original was first mixed pays homage to its creator and to contemporary cocktail culture.

The Blue Hawaii was created in 1957 at Honolulu’s Kaiser Hawaiian Village (now Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort) by legendary head bartender Harry Yee. The story parallels that of the Moscow Mule, in which the genesis of the recipe was to promote and sell a boozy ingredient, in this case blue curaçao.

A sales representative of Dutch distiller Bols asked Yee to design a drink that featured this shocking azure citrus liqueur. After experimenting with several different versions, he settled on one that shook (or blended, depending on guest preference) vodka, light rum, curaçao, pineapple juice and sweet-and-sour mix, served in a tall glass garnished with a pineapple and a cherry.

The cocktail predates Hawaii’s statehood by two years, and it’s not Yee’s only claim to fame. “He’s also credited with being the first to add banana to a Daiquiri and is also remembered for his signature garnishes,” says Benjamin Lihn, the beverage director at Hilton Hawaiian Village. “My favorite is a unique and memorable wooden back scratcher to accompany the highly potent Tropical Itch.”

But back to his timeless tipple, which made its way all over Oahu in versions that may stray far from the original. In September 2018, in honor of Yee’s hundredth birthday, the hotel hosted a reception for his friends and family, along with a bartending competition where a half-dozen local bartenders offered elevated riffs on the classic.

The Sea Blues is the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s own inspired take available at the property’s Bali Steak & Seafood. It starts with a base of Ocean vodka, which is distilled on Maui using organic sugar cane and deep ocean water, and mixed with Malibu coconut rum, Bols blue curaçao and freshly pressed lemon and pineapple juices. It’s presented over an ice sphere made with coconut water and cream of coconut in a glass rimmed with toasted coconut flakes and garnished with an orchid. As the ice melts, the drink takes on a creamy mellow flavor and silky texture that are both pretty irresistible.

As Lihn says, “There’s nothing comparable to enjoying a Blue Hawaii (or any of its thoughtful incarnations) looking out over Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach and the place that started it all.” Mahalo, Yee.


Sea Blues

It’s a poolside sipper and a musical rom-com starring a then-skinny, ebony-haired postwar Elvis Presley. The Blue Hawaii is one of those iconic cocktails that encapsulates its namesake location every bit as the backdrop of Diamond Head volcano crater on Waikiki Beach. Now a modern take at the very location where the original was first mixed pays homage to its creator and to contemporary cocktail culture.

The Blue Hawaii was created in 1957 at Honolulu’s Kaiser Hawaiian Village (now Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort) by legendary head bartender Harry Yee. The story parallels that of the Moscow Mule, in which the genesis of the recipe was to promote and sell a boozy ingredient, in this case blue curaçao.

A sales representative of Dutch distiller Bols asked Yee to design a drink that featured this shocking azure citrus liqueur. After experimenting with several different versions, he settled on one that shook (or blended, depending on guest preference) vodka, light rum, curaçao, pineapple juice and sweet-and-sour mix, served in a tall glass garnished with a pineapple and a cherry.

The cocktail predates Hawaii’s statehood by two years, and it’s not Yee’s only claim to fame. “He’s also credited with being the first to add banana to a Daiquiri and is also remembered for his signature garnishes,” says Benjamin Lihn, the beverage director at Hilton Hawaiian Village. “My favorite is a unique and memorable wooden back scratcher to accompany the highly potent Tropical Itch.”

But back to his timeless tipple, which made its way all over Oahu in versions that may stray far from the original. In September 2018, in honor of Yee’s hundredth birthday, the hotel hosted a reception for his friends and family, along with a bartending competition where a half-dozen local bartenders offered elevated riffs on the classic.

The Sea Blues is the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s own inspired take available at the property’s Bali Steak & Seafood. It starts with a base of Ocean vodka, which is distilled on Maui using organic sugar cane and deep ocean water, and mixed with Malibu coconut rum, Bols blue curaçao and freshly pressed lemon and pineapple juices. It’s presented over an ice sphere made with coconut water and cream of coconut in a glass rimmed with toasted coconut flakes and garnished with an orchid. As the ice melts, the drink takes on a creamy mellow flavor and silky texture that are both pretty irresistible.

As Lihn says, “There’s nothing comparable to enjoying a Blue Hawaii (or any of its thoughtful incarnations) looking out over Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach and the place that started it all.” Mahalo, Yee.


Sea Blues

It’s a poolside sipper and a musical rom-com starring a then-skinny, ebony-haired postwar Elvis Presley. The Blue Hawaii is one of those iconic cocktails that encapsulates its namesake location every bit as the backdrop of Diamond Head volcano crater on Waikiki Beach. Now a modern take at the very location where the original was first mixed pays homage to its creator and to contemporary cocktail culture.

The Blue Hawaii was created in 1957 at Honolulu’s Kaiser Hawaiian Village (now Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort) by legendary head bartender Harry Yee. The story parallels that of the Moscow Mule, in which the genesis of the recipe was to promote and sell a boozy ingredient, in this case blue curaçao.

A sales representative of Dutch distiller Bols asked Yee to design a drink that featured this shocking azure citrus liqueur. After experimenting with several different versions, he settled on one that shook (or blended, depending on guest preference) vodka, light rum, curaçao, pineapple juice and sweet-and-sour mix, served in a tall glass garnished with a pineapple and a cherry.

The cocktail predates Hawaii’s statehood by two years, and it’s not Yee’s only claim to fame. “He’s also credited with being the first to add banana to a Daiquiri and is also remembered for his signature garnishes,” says Benjamin Lihn, the beverage director at Hilton Hawaiian Village. “My favorite is a unique and memorable wooden back scratcher to accompany the highly potent Tropical Itch.”

But back to his timeless tipple, which made its way all over Oahu in versions that may stray far from the original. In September 2018, in honor of Yee’s hundredth birthday, the hotel hosted a reception for his friends and family, along with a bartending competition where a half-dozen local bartenders offered elevated riffs on the classic.

The Sea Blues is the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s own inspired take available at the property’s Bali Steak & Seafood. It starts with a base of Ocean vodka, which is distilled on Maui using organic sugar cane and deep ocean water, and mixed with Malibu coconut rum, Bols blue curaçao and freshly pressed lemon and pineapple juices. It’s presented over an ice sphere made with coconut water and cream of coconut in a glass rimmed with toasted coconut flakes and garnished with an orchid. As the ice melts, the drink takes on a creamy mellow flavor and silky texture that are both pretty irresistible.

As Lihn says, “There’s nothing comparable to enjoying a Blue Hawaii (or any of its thoughtful incarnations) looking out over Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach and the place that started it all.” Mahalo, Yee.


Sea Blues

It’s a poolside sipper and a musical rom-com starring a then-skinny, ebony-haired postwar Elvis Presley. The Blue Hawaii is one of those iconic cocktails that encapsulates its namesake location every bit as the backdrop of Diamond Head volcano crater on Waikiki Beach. Now a modern take at the very location where the original was first mixed pays homage to its creator and to contemporary cocktail culture.

The Blue Hawaii was created in 1957 at Honolulu’s Kaiser Hawaiian Village (now Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort) by legendary head bartender Harry Yee. The story parallels that of the Moscow Mule, in which the genesis of the recipe was to promote and sell a boozy ingredient, in this case blue curaçao.

A sales representative of Dutch distiller Bols asked Yee to design a drink that featured this shocking azure citrus liqueur. After experimenting with several different versions, he settled on one that shook (or blended, depending on guest preference) vodka, light rum, curaçao, pineapple juice and sweet-and-sour mix, served in a tall glass garnished with a pineapple and a cherry.

The cocktail predates Hawaii’s statehood by two years, and it’s not Yee’s only claim to fame. “He’s also credited with being the first to add banana to a Daiquiri and is also remembered for his signature garnishes,” says Benjamin Lihn, the beverage director at Hilton Hawaiian Village. “My favorite is a unique and memorable wooden back scratcher to accompany the highly potent Tropical Itch.”

But back to his timeless tipple, which made its way all over Oahu in versions that may stray far from the original. In September 2018, in honor of Yee’s hundredth birthday, the hotel hosted a reception for his friends and family, along with a bartending competition where a half-dozen local bartenders offered elevated riffs on the classic.

The Sea Blues is the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s own inspired take available at the property’s Bali Steak & Seafood. It starts with a base of Ocean vodka, which is distilled on Maui using organic sugar cane and deep ocean water, and mixed with Malibu coconut rum, Bols blue curaçao and freshly pressed lemon and pineapple juices. It’s presented over an ice sphere made with coconut water and cream of coconut in a glass rimmed with toasted coconut flakes and garnished with an orchid. As the ice melts, the drink takes on a creamy mellow flavor and silky texture that are both pretty irresistible.

As Lihn says, “There’s nothing comparable to enjoying a Blue Hawaii (or any of its thoughtful incarnations) looking out over Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach and the place that started it all.” Mahalo, Yee.


Sea Blues

It’s a poolside sipper and a musical rom-com starring a then-skinny, ebony-haired postwar Elvis Presley. The Blue Hawaii is one of those iconic cocktails that encapsulates its namesake location every bit as the backdrop of Diamond Head volcano crater on Waikiki Beach. Now a modern take at the very location where the original was first mixed pays homage to its creator and to contemporary cocktail culture.

The Blue Hawaii was created in 1957 at Honolulu’s Kaiser Hawaiian Village (now Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort) by legendary head bartender Harry Yee. The story parallels that of the Moscow Mule, in which the genesis of the recipe was to promote and sell a boozy ingredient, in this case blue curaçao.

A sales representative of Dutch distiller Bols asked Yee to design a drink that featured this shocking azure citrus liqueur. After experimenting with several different versions, he settled on one that shook (or blended, depending on guest preference) vodka, light rum, curaçao, pineapple juice and sweet-and-sour mix, served in a tall glass garnished with a pineapple and a cherry.

The cocktail predates Hawaii’s statehood by two years, and it’s not Yee’s only claim to fame. “He’s also credited with being the first to add banana to a Daiquiri and is also remembered for his signature garnishes,” says Benjamin Lihn, the beverage director at Hilton Hawaiian Village. “My favorite is a unique and memorable wooden back scratcher to accompany the highly potent Tropical Itch.”

But back to his timeless tipple, which made its way all over Oahu in versions that may stray far from the original. In September 2018, in honor of Yee’s hundredth birthday, the hotel hosted a reception for his friends and family, along with a bartending competition where a half-dozen local bartenders offered elevated riffs on the classic.

The Sea Blues is the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s own inspired take available at the property’s Bali Steak & Seafood. It starts with a base of Ocean vodka, which is distilled on Maui using organic sugar cane and deep ocean water, and mixed with Malibu coconut rum, Bols blue curaçao and freshly pressed lemon and pineapple juices. It’s presented over an ice sphere made with coconut water and cream of coconut in a glass rimmed with toasted coconut flakes and garnished with an orchid. As the ice melts, the drink takes on a creamy mellow flavor and silky texture that are both pretty irresistible.

As Lihn says, “There’s nothing comparable to enjoying a Blue Hawaii (or any of its thoughtful incarnations) looking out over Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach and the place that started it all.” Mahalo, Yee.


Sea Blues

It’s a poolside sipper and a musical rom-com starring a then-skinny, ebony-haired postwar Elvis Presley. The Blue Hawaii is one of those iconic cocktails that encapsulates its namesake location every bit as the backdrop of Diamond Head volcano crater on Waikiki Beach. Now a modern take at the very location where the original was first mixed pays homage to its creator and to contemporary cocktail culture.

The Blue Hawaii was created in 1957 at Honolulu’s Kaiser Hawaiian Village (now Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort) by legendary head bartender Harry Yee. The story parallels that of the Moscow Mule, in which the genesis of the recipe was to promote and sell a boozy ingredient, in this case blue curaçao.

A sales representative of Dutch distiller Bols asked Yee to design a drink that featured this shocking azure citrus liqueur. After experimenting with several different versions, he settled on one that shook (or blended, depending on guest preference) vodka, light rum, curaçao, pineapple juice and sweet-and-sour mix, served in a tall glass garnished with a pineapple and a cherry.

The cocktail predates Hawaii’s statehood by two years, and it’s not Yee’s only claim to fame. “He’s also credited with being the first to add banana to a Daiquiri and is also remembered for his signature garnishes,” says Benjamin Lihn, the beverage director at Hilton Hawaiian Village. “My favorite is a unique and memorable wooden back scratcher to accompany the highly potent Tropical Itch.”

But back to his timeless tipple, which made its way all over Oahu in versions that may stray far from the original. In September 2018, in honor of Yee’s hundredth birthday, the hotel hosted a reception for his friends and family, along with a bartending competition where a half-dozen local bartenders offered elevated riffs on the classic.

The Sea Blues is the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s own inspired take available at the property’s Bali Steak & Seafood. It starts with a base of Ocean vodka, which is distilled on Maui using organic sugar cane and deep ocean water, and mixed with Malibu coconut rum, Bols blue curaçao and freshly pressed lemon and pineapple juices. It’s presented over an ice sphere made with coconut water and cream of coconut in a glass rimmed with toasted coconut flakes and garnished with an orchid. As the ice melts, the drink takes on a creamy mellow flavor and silky texture that are both pretty irresistible.

As Lihn says, “There’s nothing comparable to enjoying a Blue Hawaii (or any of its thoughtful incarnations) looking out over Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach and the place that started it all.” Mahalo, Yee.


Sea Blues

It’s a poolside sipper and a musical rom-com starring a then-skinny, ebony-haired postwar Elvis Presley. The Blue Hawaii is one of those iconic cocktails that encapsulates its namesake location every bit as the backdrop of Diamond Head volcano crater on Waikiki Beach. Now a modern take at the very location where the original was first mixed pays homage to its creator and to contemporary cocktail culture.

The Blue Hawaii was created in 1957 at Honolulu’s Kaiser Hawaiian Village (now Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort) by legendary head bartender Harry Yee. The story parallels that of the Moscow Mule, in which the genesis of the recipe was to promote and sell a boozy ingredient, in this case blue curaçao.

A sales representative of Dutch distiller Bols asked Yee to design a drink that featured this shocking azure citrus liqueur. After experimenting with several different versions, he settled on one that shook (or blended, depending on guest preference) vodka, light rum, curaçao, pineapple juice and sweet-and-sour mix, served in a tall glass garnished with a pineapple and a cherry.

The cocktail predates Hawaii’s statehood by two years, and it’s not Yee’s only claim to fame. “He’s also credited with being the first to add banana to a Daiquiri and is also remembered for his signature garnishes,” says Benjamin Lihn, the beverage director at Hilton Hawaiian Village. “My favorite is a unique and memorable wooden back scratcher to accompany the highly potent Tropical Itch.”

But back to his timeless tipple, which made its way all over Oahu in versions that may stray far from the original. In September 2018, in honor of Yee’s hundredth birthday, the hotel hosted a reception for his friends and family, along with a bartending competition where a half-dozen local bartenders offered elevated riffs on the classic.

The Sea Blues is the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s own inspired take available at the property’s Bali Steak & Seafood. It starts with a base of Ocean vodka, which is distilled on Maui using organic sugar cane and deep ocean water, and mixed with Malibu coconut rum, Bols blue curaçao and freshly pressed lemon and pineapple juices. It’s presented over an ice sphere made with coconut water and cream of coconut in a glass rimmed with toasted coconut flakes and garnished with an orchid. As the ice melts, the drink takes on a creamy mellow flavor and silky texture that are both pretty irresistible.

As Lihn says, “There’s nothing comparable to enjoying a Blue Hawaii (or any of its thoughtful incarnations) looking out over Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach and the place that started it all.” Mahalo, Yee.


Sea Blues

It’s a poolside sipper and a musical rom-com starring a then-skinny, ebony-haired postwar Elvis Presley. The Blue Hawaii is one of those iconic cocktails that encapsulates its namesake location every bit as the backdrop of Diamond Head volcano crater on Waikiki Beach. Now a modern take at the very location where the original was first mixed pays homage to its creator and to contemporary cocktail culture.

The Blue Hawaii was created in 1957 at Honolulu’s Kaiser Hawaiian Village (now Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort) by legendary head bartender Harry Yee. The story parallels that of the Moscow Mule, in which the genesis of the recipe was to promote and sell a boozy ingredient, in this case blue curaçao.

A sales representative of Dutch distiller Bols asked Yee to design a drink that featured this shocking azure citrus liqueur. After experimenting with several different versions, he settled on one that shook (or blended, depending on guest preference) vodka, light rum, curaçao, pineapple juice and sweet-and-sour mix, served in a tall glass garnished with a pineapple and a cherry.

The cocktail predates Hawaii’s statehood by two years, and it’s not Yee’s only claim to fame. “He’s also credited with being the first to add banana to a Daiquiri and is also remembered for his signature garnishes,” says Benjamin Lihn, the beverage director at Hilton Hawaiian Village. “My favorite is a unique and memorable wooden back scratcher to accompany the highly potent Tropical Itch.”

But back to his timeless tipple, which made its way all over Oahu in versions that may stray far from the original. In September 2018, in honor of Yee’s hundredth birthday, the hotel hosted a reception for his friends and family, along with a bartending competition where a half-dozen local bartenders offered elevated riffs on the classic.

The Sea Blues is the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s own inspired take available at the property’s Bali Steak & Seafood. It starts with a base of Ocean vodka, which is distilled on Maui using organic sugar cane and deep ocean water, and mixed with Malibu coconut rum, Bols blue curaçao and freshly pressed lemon and pineapple juices. It’s presented over an ice sphere made with coconut water and cream of coconut in a glass rimmed with toasted coconut flakes and garnished with an orchid. As the ice melts, the drink takes on a creamy mellow flavor and silky texture that are both pretty irresistible.

As Lihn says, “There’s nothing comparable to enjoying a Blue Hawaii (or any of its thoughtful incarnations) looking out over Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach and the place that started it all.” Mahalo, Yee.


Watch the video: First time in Finnish toilets (October 2021).