Try the Kailua: A Pineapple Passion Fruit Cocktail from Chef Roy Yamaguchi

pineapple passion fruit cocktail

Chef Roy Yamaguchi is best known for his cuisine fusing French technique with Asian-inspired flavors. This cocktail, however, is a big nod to his home in Hawaii. This pineapple and passion fruit cocktail is tropical and refreshing—the perfect thing to drink when you just want to kick your feet up. It’s not an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii, but it might be the next best thing. 

Chef Roy’s recipe calls for Lilikoi syrup. Lilikoi is a type of yellow passion fruit that is popular in Hawaii. If you’re not lucky enough to have a Lilikoi tree in your backyard, we recommend substituting passion fruit syrup or passion fruit juice. Either way, the fruit’s tart and sweet nature will be the perfect complement to savory, earthy Tequila. 

Kailua Cocktail 

  • 1.5 oz Tequila (Grand Leyenda Silver) 
  • .5 oz Lilikoi syrup 
  • .5 oz Ginger elixir 
  • .5 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 oz Pineapple juice, freshly squeezed if possible


1) Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. 

2) Add ice and shake for 10-15 seconds, or until the outside of the (tin or steel) shaker appears frosty and chilled.

3) Strain into a rocks glass or martini glass. Garnish with a pineapple leaf. Cocktail umbrellas and salted rims are optional. 

For more cocktails and meals from our chef partners, sign up for a Blue Apron box delivered to your door. 

Good Time Island Spiked Jell-O Mold

Chef Lili Dagan is officially giving you permission to get a little crazy with your next picnic. This Jell-O mold recipe looks cute, but don’t be fooled: it’s very strong.

alcoholic jello mold
Red, white, and very potent

This recipe is inspired by the very kooky late 90’s comedy show Strangers With Candy. The show stars Amy Sedaris (the less famous but arguably much funnier Sedaris sibling) as Jerri Blank, an adult who returns to high school for education and redemption. The show is ostensibly a morality sitcom. The lessons, however, are often misinterpreted or missed entirely by Jerri. If there’s any teaching in an episode I watched recently, Jerri misses all of it, except that everyone wants to have a good time, AKA visit Good Time Island. 

My friends and I have been (only slightly) joking about trying to get Amy Sedaris to judge a Jell-O mold competition at my favorite neighborhood watering hole for years now. Will this Jell-O mold be good enough to get us all to Good Time Island? Wish me luck.

For this mold, we aren’t using Jell-O. You heard me. Did you know you can gelatinize…anything? In honor of misinterpreting lessons, I’m adding plain knox gelatin to “hydration sports drink” for the red and blue layers, and sweetened grated coconut for the white stripe. Not feeling particularly patriotic? You can use anything in any color, just keep the ratios the same. 

Good Time Island Spiked Jell-O Mold Recipe

Note: Prep one layer at a time as each layer needs to cool thoroughly before the next layer is added. This takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on your fridge. When in doubt, let it cool longer.

Note: Before you begin, lightly coat your bundt pan with nonstick spray. 

Red Layer

  • 1 ½ Cup red sports drink
  • 1 Cup hulled and small-diced strawberries
  • ½ Cup tequila
  • 3 packets gelatin

White Layer

  • 1 ½ Cup grated coconut in heavy syrup (if you can’t find this, use Coco Lopez or any kind of sweetened canned coconut milk.)
  • 2 nectarines, small diced
  • ½ Cup rum
  • 3 packets gelatin

Blue Layer

  • 1 ½ Cup Blue Sports Drink
  • 1 Cup blueberries
  • ½ Cup tequila
  • 3 packets gelatin

1. Soak the strawberries in the tequila. 

2. Bring the red sports drink to a boil. Turn off heat and stir in the gelatin for about 1 minute, until thoroughly combined. Combine the hot gelatin and the soaked berries, and then transfer into your prepared bundt pan. Move to the fridge immediately to cool completely. 

3. While your red layer cools, soak your nectarines in rum.

4. When the red layer is fully firm, bring your coconut in syrup to a boil. Turn off heat and stir in the gelatin for about 1 minute, until thoroughly combined.  Combine the hot gelatin and the boozy nectarines, and then pour on top of the red layer. Move to the fridge immediately to cool completely. 

5. While your coconut layer cools, soak your blueberries in tequila. 

6. When the coconut layer is fully firm, bring your blue sports drink to a boil. Stir in the gelatin for about 1 minute, until thoroughly combined. Pour the hot gelatin over the boozy nectarines, and then on top of the red layer. Move to the fridge immediately to cool completely. 

7. When you are ready to serve, fill a large bowl with a few inches of warm water. Place the mold in the water for about 2 minutes, until the sides begin to release from the pan. Flip on to a plate and jiggle until it releases onto the plate. Serve immediately in slices or any format desired.

Cheer up with a Cantaloupe Mint Margarita

Do you think of cantaloupe as a filler fruit? Think again. In Chef Lili Dagan’s latest cocktail, cantaloupe becomes the life of the party. 

cantaloupe margarita
An all-natural tiki bowl

Somehow, this margarita is more than the sum of its parts. If you have a blender, the whole thing only takes a few minutes to make (ok, there’s some freezing time involved, but that just takes a little planning). At the end, you’re rewarded with a drink that’s not only refreshing, it’s downright festive.

Recipe: Cantaloupe Mint Margarita 

  • Makes 1-2 servings, depending on what kind of day you’re having
  • 1 whole cantaloupe
  • 2 springs mint, plus more for garnish
  • 2 oz tequila blanco
  • 1 oz Curaçao triple sec
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice 
  • Lime wheels, spicy salt, and mint for garnish

1. Make your cantaloupe ice cubes. Locate the stem of the cantaloupe, and imagine a line going through the cantaloupe starting at the stem. Cut perpendicular to that line. Once cut, your melon will form two bowl-shaped halves. Scoop out and discard the seeds of both halves. 

2. Use a melon baller or other spoon (if you don’t have a melon baller, a tablespoon will work well) to scoop your melon half into balls. Lay on a sheet pan. Make sure the balls don’t overlap, or they will stick. Lay sheet pan flat to freeze for at least 1 hour. 

cut cantaloupe
Cut across width-wise

3. Take the remaining melon half and scoop out the flesh. Blend with leaves from 2  sprigs of mint. Reserve the rind of the melon, intact. 

4. Place 1 tablespoon of spiced salt on a plate and roll the edge of the reserved melon rind through it. As you roll, salt should stick to the rind and form a salted rim. If it does not stick, lightly dampen the edge of the rind and try again. 

5. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 8 oz of cantaloupe juice, 2 oz tequila blanco, 1 oz Curaçao triple sec, 1 oz fresh lime juice. Strain into the reserved melon half. Gently add your frozen cantaloupe ice cubes, some lime wheels, and a sprig of mint.

Cantaloupe margarita

Your New Favorite Cocktail Recipe Uses a Whole Pineapple

Chef Lili Dagan knows the antidote to quarantine gloom is a tropical drink. Here’s her recipe for a bright and frothy cocktail we’re calling el Gajes del Oficio, or “the occupational hazard.”

Cocktail recipe: pineapple
Tropical, fresh, delightful

I live in Bushwick, right down the street from a place called Tulicingo Deli Grocery. I can always count on them to have super cheap and extremely ripe fruit. While out shopping the other day, I passed by a bin of pineapples so fragrant that I couldn’t help but buy one. As the weather starts to warm up, all I want to do is sit outside and sip on a tropical drink. I can’t go to a bar right now, but here’s what I came up with instead. 

This cocktail is sort of the lovechild of my three favorite patio drinks: a mezcal negroni, a piña colada, and an Aperol spritz. It’s a little labor intensive, but I promise it’s worth it (and hey, we have the time). Can’t find fresh pineapple? I suppose canned will do. 

Cocktail recipe: el Gajes del Oficio 

  • 1 pineapple
  • 2 limes 
  • 1 oz Aperol 
  • 2 oz mezcal or Tequila 
  • 1 jalapeño 
  • Spiced salt, for the rim (we used Tajin)
  1. Peel, core, and dice your pineapple. Save the skins!
  2. Make some pineapple water. Transfer the reserved skins to a stockpot with a knob of fresh ginger and 4 cloves of smashed garlic. Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium heat for 40 minutes. Simmer for 40 minutes, then strain and let cool. 
  3. While the pineapple water cools, blend the pineapple and strain it through a fine mesh sieve. 
  4. To assemble, gather a cocktail shaker, a glass, some ice cubes, limes, a citrus juicer, Aperol, mezcal (tequila would work too),  and some spicy salt. 
  5. Salt the rim of your glass and prepare your garnishes (I used a wheel of lime, you could add a jalapeño wheel if you’re feeling spicy!) and plop a few ice cubes in there. 
  6. Add a few ice cubes into your shaker, 2 oz of pineapple juice, 2 oz of pineapple water, 2 oz of Mezcal, 1 oz of Aperol, juice of half a lime, 3 slices of jalapeño and then shake it.
  7. Strain into your prepared glass and garnish with a wheel of lime. Enjoy!

Twelve Days of Edible Gifts

Twelve Ideas for Edible Gifts

Since the start of the holiday season, we’ve been crafting edible gifts to inspire you to delight your family and friends. Twelve of them, to be exact. Because there’s nothing lovelier than a homemade present. You can catch the whole series on our Instagram feed, but fortunately, there are still a few days left before Christmas for you to hop on the edible gift bandwagon. Here, our twelve delicious ideas.

1. Cinnamon-Infused Tequila

For the first in our edible gift series, we’re making the fixings for a spicy, refreshing holiday cocktail. In a large container, combine 750ml tequila and 7 to 10 cinnamon sticks. Let sit for 1 to 2 days for a warm tasting tequila and 3 to 4 days for a strongly flavored cinnamon tequila. Strain the tequila and discard the cinnamon sticks. Pour the tequila back into its original bottle for a pretty presentation.

2. Holiday Herb Wreath

Create 10 to 12 small bundles of fresh woody herbs (such as thyme, sage, rosemary, bay leaf, oregano, or lavender) and secure the stems with wire. Attach the bundles to a small (6 to 8 inches) wire wreath frame, slightly overlapping each bundle over the previous bundle. Attach a bow or pinecone and enjoy!

Vanilla3. DIY Vanilla Extract

In a clean mason jar (or other decorative bottle) combine 8oz. bourbon and 3 to 5 vanilla beans, split open. Make sure the vanilla beans are completely submerged. Tightly seal the jar and give it a good shake. Let the jar stand in a cool place for 3 weeks, shaking occasionally. The extract will intensify the longer it sits with the vanilla beans.

Granola5. Cardamom & Chia Seed Granola

Make a big batch and share this with your friends for the holidays, packaged in glass Weck jars.  It’s the perfect, healthful breakfast to balance out your lavish holiday feasts! Here’s the recipe.

Nuts4. Rosemary-Spiced Nuts

On a sheet tray combine, 2 cups cashews, 2 cups walnuts, 1 cup pecans, 1 cup almonds, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1/3 cup date molasses, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 2 teaspoons chipotle powder, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary and 2 teaspoons salt. Toss to combine and spread out in one layer. Roast the nuts at 350 degrees, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and toss with an extra 2 teaspoons salt and 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary. Allow to cool completely before packing the nuts into an airtight container. Will keep for 2 weeks at room temperature. Happy gifting!

Limoncello6. Limoncello

In a large container, combine the peel of 10 unwaxed lemons and one 750 ml bottle of 95% proof grain alcohol. Let sit for 10 to 12 days and then strain through a layer of cheesecloth into a large bowl. In a large pan, make simple syrup by combining 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar and bringing to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Let the simple syrup cool to room temperature and then add it to the alcohol mixture, tasting as you go. Decant into pretty bottles with instructions to keep the limoncello in the freezer where it will keep indefinitely. Cheers!

Hot Chocolate7. Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

In a food processor combine 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup cocoa powder, 2 cups powdered milk, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp cornstarch, 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips and 1 tsp cinnamon. Divide the mixture between 3 pint-sized containers and enjoy! The hot cocoa mix will keep for 2 months. Stay warm!

Lemons8. Preserved Lemon

Wash 5 lemons. Make 4 cuts lengthwise in each lemon without cutting through to the stems. Stuff the cuts in the lemons with a mixture of 5 tbsp. sugar and 5 tbsp. salt. Stuff the lemons into a 12oz. jar, pressing them down tightly to pack. Let the lemons sit for 3 to 5 days at room temperature. Then, add 1 cup lemon juice and let sit in the refrigerator for 3 weeks or until the rinds have softened. Before using, rinse the preserved lemons to remove excess sugar and salt. Use in Moroccan dishes like this one.

Bitters9. Grapefruit Bitters

Slice 1 grapefruit in half. Juice 1 half, reserve the juice and discard the flesh. Roughly chop the other half and reserve. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water, bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add the chopped grapefruit and a chopped 2-in piece of ginger and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. In a large wide mouthed container, combine the cooled grapefruit syrup (including fruit), reserved grapefruit juice, 1 cup Campari, 1 cup vodka and ¾ cup sweet vermouth. Stir to combine and refrigerate overnight. Strain the mixture and discard the fruit. Will keep up to 1 month stored in the fridge.

Truffles10. Chocolate Truffles

Chop up a ½ pound of the best-ever dark chocolate. Heat ½ a cup of heavy cream to boiling. Add 1 tablespoon espresso powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate. Stir well, then add 1 tablespoon of flavored liqueur (your choice!). Set aside for an hour, then roll 2 teaspoon portions of the mixture into balls. Roll the balls through two different cocoa powders, chopped nuts, or powdered sugar. Store in the fridge. (See more detailed instructions here.)

11. Peppermint Swirl Bark

Line a sheet pan with parchment or wax paper. Crush 5 candy canes into pieces. In 2 separate bowls, melt 8 Ounces of Chopped Bittersweet Chocolate and 12 Ounces of Chopped White Chocolate in the microwave in 15 to 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted and smooth. (If desired, stir ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract into the melted white chocolate.) Spread the melted white chocolate onto the parchment paper. Evenly top with dollops of the melted bittersweet chocolate. Using a knife, pass the knife through both chocolates to swirl. Press the crushed peppermint pieces into the chocolate. Set aside to harden.

Spice Mix12. Mexican Spice Blend

In a small jar, combine 2 Parts Ground Cumin, 2 Parts Ancho Chili Powder, 1 Part Ground Coriander, and1 Part Chipotle Pepper. Use in tacos, fajitas, tortilla soup, and mole.