50 Shots of America–Hawaii


Pearl Bomber CocktailI suppose, pre-Internet especially but before the media made everyone so altogether global, traveling across country or to a different region could really feel like going someplace different. My own travels leads me to believe that’s not really the case anymore.

Except, perhaps, in Hawaii. (Granted, I’ve never been there myself but I’d be more than willing to undertake a research expedition should someone wish to fund it. Purely scientific discovery, you understand.)

A string of volcanic islands (some still active) and part of the Polynesian Islands, The Aloha State was actually a sovereign nation with a functioning monarchy before we, in our “infinite wisdom” started interfering and changing everything. In 1893 a group of American and European businessmen, calling themselves the “Committee of Safety,” deposed Queen Lili-uokalani, formed a Provisional Government (conveniently containing members of the CoS)  and asked the US to annex them as a territory.

Now the US, for what it’s worth, said ‘uh, no, you really shouldn’t have done that: put it back the way it was.’ The Provisional Government said ‘no, we don’t wanna,’ so the US looks at the matter again (under a new President by now) and basically says, ‘oh, wait, you meant THAT monarchy? Oh, no, you’re totally cool, carry on!’  (Sheesh, this empire building is so confusing!) But it’s cool, you know, because 30 years later we finally apologized for taking over a sovereign nation.

Anyway! After 4 years as an independent republic and 60 years as a territory, Hawaii became our 50th and final (to date) state on August 21, 1959.

Pearl Bomber

3/4 oz Gold Rum
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Banana Liqueur
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Combine all ingredients over ice and shake ’em like a Polynesian dancer’s hip tassels. Strain into a chilled double shot glass (or two singles–pineapple is the fruit of hospitality, after all) and get a tropical feel anytime, anywhere.

Most folks know that on December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, totally out of the blue. It’s what convinced the US to become involved in WWII. I knew that, but I didn’t realize Hawaii wasn’t even a state, yet, when all that happened.

The reason why it wasn’t a state was the ruling class–planters and banks–liked being able to take advantage of cheap, imported foreign labor to work the sugar cane, pineapple, coffee and other plantations (being a state would mean an end to that). But, when the local-born children of those immigrants–now US citizens–grew up they rose up and wrested control from the Republican powers that be.

But, hey, enough politics!

Have you ever worked in a place that observed Casual Fridays? Well, you have the Hawaiians to thank for that!

Known as Aloha Friday in Hawaii, it refers to the casual wear known as Aloha shirts (we call them, predictable enough, Hawaiian shirts)–acceptable business and formal wear on the islands! But it wasn’t always that way. In the 60s the garment industry led the change to casual wear as business attire for the summer months with the recommendation that employers relax the business attire (suit and tie) regulations on the last day of the week. It spread to California and eventually became the business casual we know and live for.

So throw on your Hawaiian shirt, kick back with a Pearl Bomber and Bombs Away!


And with that we’ve completed our cocktail tour of the United States! Around the country in 17 months (we took some detours on the way) and what’s next? Well, I do have another series coming up that will start on July 1st. Until then I’ll be wrapping up loose ends on some other projects. But this isn’t the last you’ll hear of our 50 Shots!

One thought on “50 Shots of America–Hawaii

  1. I went to Hawaii three times in 2010. Love, love, love it. And I love your timing — that drink is perfect for loafing on the beach.

Share Your Opinion Here!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.