The Story Behind The Blue Hawaii

Not to be confused with the 1961 movie “Blue Hawaii” starring Elvis Presley, this tropical cocktail was invented years before the film’s release by bartender Harry Lee at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort. In 1957, Lee was approached at the bar by a salesman who asked for a drink that highlighted his client, Bols blue Curaçao. The Caribbean liqueur is what gives the Blue Hawaii its distinct aqua hue. 

There have been many variations of the Blue Hawaii over the years — including the Blue Hawaiian, a riff that incorporates cream of coconut — but none are close to what Lee invented all those years ago. Today, the cocktail is made with a base of light rum, vodka, simple syrup, and the signature blue Curaçao. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice, pineapple juice, and garnish with a pineapple wedge to enjoy the taste of paradise. 



  • 3/4 ounce light rum
  • 3/4 ounce vodka
  • 3/4 ounce blue Curaçao
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • Garnish: pineapple wedge


  1. Add ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake until cold.
  2. Strain into a hurricane glass with fresh ice.
  3. Garnish with pineapple wedge.

Rate This Recipe:

(10 votes)

Yield: 1
Calories: 335
Updated: 2023-03-08

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The Blue Hawaii Recipe