Never heard of a Blue Lagoon cocktail? You’re not alone. For those readers who were tweens or teens in 1980, those two words together will most likely conjure images of Blue Lagoon, the movie, in which a ship-wrecked Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins get hot and heavy beside a very blue lagoon.
Evidently, this cheesy 80s island love story inspired a tropical 80s cocktail of the same name, the Blue Lagoon. It’s a member of the cocktail genre I call “blue cocktails,” that includes the Blue Hawaiian, the Blue Margarita and the Blue Monday. All of these drinks are coloured blue by Blue Curacao, which is actually an orange-flavoured liqueur that’s been dyed blue. (When cocktails veered toward sweet and fruity in the 70s and 80s, blue curaçao showed up for the party.)
I’ve been hearing for a while that 80s cocktails are making a comeback. Bartenders are taking Amaretto sours and pina coladas and margaritas and making them better (usually that means less sweet, and with fresh juices or housemade syrups instead of sour mix). This is a good thing. But I kind of thought blue drinks would be overlooked because of their neon colour. So, when I saw that the Bourbon Room was featuring not only an 80s selection but a blue cocktail on said menu, I couldn’t resist.
Bartender Fern Zevnik has taken some liberties with the Blue Lagoon (using bourbon instead of vodka, for one), but the result is something that’s balanced, delicious and beautifully blue. Go ahead and dive in!
- 2 oz Buffalo Trace bourbon
- 1 oz Giffard Blue Curacao
- 3/4 oz housemade mead syrup (or use honey simple syrup)
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
Method: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into a chilled coupe glass.
— Recipe courtesy Fern Zevnik