Hawaii is known for its gorgeous beaches, renowned surfing waters, and the perfect vacation destination. Little do people know that Hawaii is a marketplace for an exotic fusion of liquor, not just in cocktails, but also in production. Hawaii embraces local traditions in everything they do. The same goes for four specific Hawaiian liquors.
Okolehao is a Hawaiian liquor made from the root of the ti plant. It is often served at traditional luaus; therefore it is essential to Hawaiian culture. When the Ti root is baked, its sweet liquid migrates to the surface of the root. When the root is soaked in water, the sugar dissolves allowing fermentation to take place. Initially, Okolehao started out as a beer, but then later distilled into a high proof spirit. Only one distillery in Hawaii legally produces Okolehao. Anything else made similarly is still made illegally and coined as “moonshine.” The actual proof of the liquor is always uncertain because of the efficiency of the distillation process. Okolehao was recognized once as a unique class. Now it is considered a DSS, or distilled specialty spirit requiring the producer to include the exact ingredients on the label. Very unlikely of this occurring since it is not mass produced. Okolehao can be compared to that of dark rum with a medium bodied taste.
Ocean Vodka is certified completely organic also using Mahalo Hawaii Deep Seawater. Ocean Vodka takes pride in using Hawaii’s best natural resources to produce vodka that is pure and smooth. Family owned Ocean Vodka goes to considerable lengths to be one-of-a-kind and unsurpassed in quality. The distillation process is lengthy since no potentially harmful pesticides, herbicides or genetic modifications are used. It is worth the commitment to quality for the consumer and its dedication to the islands.
Pau Maui is the only luxury vodka exclusively distilled from pineapple, a signature fruit of the Hawaiian Islands. It is crafted from a centuries old recipe and distilled in rare glass stills. The result is superb quality and purity. The glass stills reach purity much faster and the design of the glass extracts unwanted by-products. The process ends with a blending of pure Hawaiian distilled water and filtering through a deluxe carbon and glass filtration receptacle.
To experience Hawaii means tasting the Koloa Rum too. The award-winning rum made from pure Hawaiian cane sugar and molasses gives it unsurpassed flavor. Koloa is produced on the beautiful and historic Kilohana Plantation of Kauai. Koloa was founded in 2001 and is the first and only rum legally manufactured on the island. The abundance of pure sugar and the ability to micro-distill in small batches, gives Koloa a unique edge in the rum market. The tasting room will please any rum palette. Enjoy samples of gold, dark white and spiced rums. Devour some special rum cake and chocolate sauce too.
These labels are a just a few of the liquors taking the Hawaii mainland by storm. They prove that Hawaii has more to offer in product richness. Hopefully, some will have increased distribution to the mainland soon. The future looks bright for Hawaii and liquor production.
– Janiece Rejba