Bartender Who Created the Iconic ‘Blue Hawaii’ Cocktail Turns 102

Harry Yee

Harry Yee, the man behind the iconic Blue Hawaii cocktail, celebrated his 102nd birthday over the weekend at his home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hilton Hawaiian Village typically throws a special celebration for Yee’s birthday on Sept. 26, but the hotel and resort held a small event at his home instead, according to Hawaii News Now.

 

Blue Hawaii was created in 1957 after a sales representative from the Dutch distiller Bols Liqueur asked Yee to create a drink that featured the blue color of its Blue Curaçao liqueur, Liquor reported. It took him several tries to create the now-famous cocktail, which is known for its blue color, pineapple wedge and a cocktail umbrella.

Yee used vodka, light rum, Blue Curaçao, pineapple juice and sweet-and-sour mix for the drink.

In a previous interview, Yee said he has no idea how Blue Hawaii became so famous a few years after its creation. One possible contributing factor is how the drink shares the same name as the 1961 Elvis Presley movie.

Blue Hawaii remains one of the drinks served at Hilton Hawaiian Village. It is also offered at other bars across the country.

Feature Image (left) via daryl_mitchell (CC BY-SA 2.0), (right) KHON2 News

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