If you can't manage to make it to Hawaii in the near future, bring the islands to you. Invite your friends to a Hawaiian luau party. Bring smiles to your guests with tropical drinks adorned with tiny umbrellas and food that has an authentic taste of the islands. Involve everyone in an intriguing mind game that will have partygoers talking about your luau for a very long time.
Turn your backyard into a "Hawaii Five-O" party. This long-running detective series introduced many "mainlanders" to the aloha shirt, Diamond Head and the grass-skirted hula dancers on Waikiki Beach. Suggest similar attire as party dress. Use toy police cars decked with flowers and accented with fake police badges for centrepieces. Hold a costume contest to see who looks the most like the fictional Steve McGarrett. If you have a swimming pool, that's even better. Extend the party attire to include swimming costumes, cover the deck with a grove of plastic blow-up palm trees and get out the beach towels. Coconut bras would be the most authentic way to go, but be sure all the fibres on the inside are sanded away--they itch!
Murder Mystery Luau
Add a little intrigue to your luau by introducing a "who dunnit?" murder mystery storyline. All you need is a simple script and enough characters to make it interesting. You will need a lead "detective" to lay out the story and to start weaving the mystery, and a volunteer to be the "victim." Once the crime has taken place, ask your guests to solve the murder using clues that are introduced in the script and that they have found by interviewing each other. Give each guest a notebook and pen to keep track of the clues and to write down the final guess. To keep with the Hawaiian theme, use Hawaiian place and object names in the script. For example, set the scene somewhere in Waikiki and use a coconut as a possible murder weapon. Keep it funny and light to match the mood of a luau.
Not everyone has room in their backyard to dig an authentic imu, or underground oven, to roast an entire pig. Instead serve roast pork from the oven or the barbecue. Add some teriyaki chicken, grilled fish, noodles with vegetables in soy sauce and a fresh fruit salad, heavy on the pineapple. You can also serve fresh "macaroni-potato salad," which is served as a single dish in Hawaii. See if you can get your hands on some poi, the purple starch staple of the islands. Find a recipe for haupia, a light coconut pudding that has the consistency and bounce of gelatin squares. Serve mai-tais, pina coladas and blue Hawaiians. Fruit punch is a great nonalcoholic alternative.