Hula Hula Cocktail

Ray Buhen was one of the original bartenders for Don The Beachcomber. The Hula Hula was one of Ray’s early creations and still proves to be a great drink. I might recommend one for brunch perhaps?


1 oz orange juice

1 oz orange curaƧao

1 oz gin


Shake with ice.

Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with a cherry and pineapple wedge.


Robert Hess 13 Oct 2008
7:43 am

I continue to enjoy Tiki/Exotic cocktails, and hope that we’ll soon see them become a little more common, and respected, at bars across the country.

When Trader Vic’s came back up into the Pacific Northwest a couple years back, opening a new restaurant in Bellevue WA, I thought that this might provide some interesting motivation for people around here to pay more attention to these Exotic Cocktails. But they closed down a few months ago unfortunately, so I guess the timing just wasn’t quite right for this yet.



Tony Harion - Mixing Bar 13 Oct 2008
10:35 am

Hey Robert,
Long time no see.
Where have you been?
Well, glad you are back!

Anna Keeper 16 Oct 2008
9:23 am

I’m thinking the mixologist, Ray Buhen, was the gentlemen known to those in our neighborhood as Ray Senior of the Tiki Ti.  His son (Mike) and grandson (Ray Junior) continue to tend bar at the Tiki Ti.  The Tiki is well worth a visit if you’re visiting the SIlver Lake neighborhood in L.A.  The cocktails and ambiance are fantastic.

Robert Hess 16 Oct 2008
9:45 am

One and the same. You can find some more details about Ray Buhen, and the Tiki Ti, here:

The Tiki Ti is indeed a “must see” when you are in LA, some important things to note before heading over there, it is SMALL, and they control the door to keep it from getting crowded, and last I heard they were still “Cash Only”... so leave your plastic at home!

And oh yeah… since the staff are all family/owners, they unfortunately (last I heard) are able to allow folks to smoke.


Bum 17 Oct 2008
9:17 am

Great idea to use this as a brunch drink, Robert ... I think you finally found a home for it, as it never seemed quite right as an evening tipple!

Thomas Bennett 1 Nov 2008
4:15 am

Hi Robert,

Really enjoying learning from your understanding of mixology and having a trustworthy source of quality cocktail recipies. Query for you: would cointreau be a worthy substitute for orange curacao both in this recipie and in general?


Robert Hess 1 Nov 2008
8:32 am

When you get down to it, there are two different orange liqueurs. Curacao, and Triple Sec, and the primary difference between the two is that Curacao typically has a brandy base, while Triple Sec has a “Neutral Spirit” base. What this means in taste is that curacao will be slightly rounder in flavor, with a little more complexity, while Triple Sec will be somewhat bright with a very distinctly orange flavor.

When you want to go “premium” with either of these products you would want to do so with the premium versions of each. Cointreau is a premium triple sec (it is my understanding that it was the original triple sec, coining the term, which was then jumped on by imitators), and Grand Marnier is the premium Curacao.

I should also point out that Cointreau recently came out with Cointreau Noir, which is essentially their premium Curacao.

That said, when in a pinch, you can use any of these orange liqueurs to substitute for another, with out to much problem.


Dave J 19 May 2009
10:34 pm

I just wanted to say that this really is an awesome drink. I don’t often drink, but when I do I like having a good quality drink as opposed to the insipid stuff you sometimes get at restaurants and bars that tastes like they used lighter fluid in place of the alcohol.

I tried this using some gin that I “borrowed” from my father, and even though it was cheap gin and cheap store brand orange juice (but good orange curacao, which I had a bottle of collecting dust on a shelf), it was good. So good that I went out and bought a bottle of my own gin so I wouldn’t have to mooch any more of my father’s stuff. I thought about getting Hendrick’s, since it’s spoken of so highly here, but it was more expensive than I could justify, so I got some Beefeater. My only comment is that since Beefeater is stronger than the stuff I was using (and stronger than the Plymouth Gin used in the video), I found it necessary to adjust to a 3:2:2 ratio, using 1.5 ounces of orange juice instead of 1 ounce. Otherwise, it came out just a touch too boozy.

Though now that I think about it, maybe 1.25 ounces would have been better. I’ll have to try that next time.

In any case, I’d like to thank you Robert for showing all of us how to make wonderful drinks at home.

Robert Hess 20 May 2009
3:58 am

Glad you’ve enjoyed the drink! Making slight adjustments to a drink to take into account slight differences of products or of individual taste preferences is only proper.

Chris CV 29 Aug 2010
6:27 pm

Hey Robert,
When you use orange juice in a drink, do you use pasteurized juice?  Or maybe sour oranges? When I make a drink like this using navel or other sweet oranges, it seems to lack a necessary tartness, so I might add a little lemon to brighten it up some.  I can’t stand the taste of the cooked juice, so I never have any on hand.

Robert Hess 31 Aug 2010
7:52 am

Frankly, orange juice is one of those products I don’t use a lot in cocktails, I find it has a tendency to deaden the flavor fairly quickly, I could see where an extra dash of lemon juice might be a good trick to use.

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