Mastermind behind the iconic ‘Blue Hawaii’ cocktail turns 102

Mastermind behind the iconic ‘Blue Hawaii’ cocktail turns 102
Harold Yee s credited with creating the drink while working as a bartender in 1957 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. (Source: Family / Hilton Hawaiian Village)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The man credited with the creation of a famous Hawaii cocktail celebrated a landmark birthday this weekend.

Saturday marked Harold Yee’s 102nd birthday.

Yee was working as a bartender at the Hilton Hawaiian Village back in 1957. The story goes that he was challenged by a Blos Liquer representative to come up with a cocktail that featured their Blue Curaçao liqueur.

Yee mixed the bright blue liquid with some vodka, rum and a few other ingredients, and hence, the iconic “Blue Hawaii” was born.

In a previous interview, Yee said he didn’t know if it was the blue color or the name that rose the drink to it’s iconic status, but he’s just glad it quickly became a popular item.

The film Blue Hawaii starring Elvis Presley likely was a contributing factor to the drink’s popularity, though Yee has said it was named independently of the film.

Till this day, the drink remains on the menu at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and is served at bars across the country.

Usually, the hotel puts on a special celebration for Yee on his birthday, but the coronavirus pandemic led to a different, scaled back birthday celebration at home.

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