Hawai‘i’s top distilleries have farmed the state’s superb ingredients and resources to create liquors that reflect the islands’ rich flavors, history and terroir. We rounded up a few of Hawai‘i’s iconic ingredients and the premium liquors they inspired.
Rhum agricole, or rum made with sugar cane juice rather than molasses, is the highest-quality and rarest form of rum. One of the original “canoe crops” that came to Hawai‘i with the first voyagers, sugar cane has been a mainstay on the islands long before the sugar plantations. Try a bottle of KoHana Rum (kohanarum.com) from Manuele Distillery in Kunia on O‘ahu, which uses these original heirloom varietals from ancient Hawai‘i to make a robust, floral and fragrant liquor.
Nothing tastes like the tropics quite like coconut, and HAPA Coconut Vodka is our go-to liquor for an island-style libation. Handmade in small batches by Island Distillers (islanddistillers.com) in Honolulu, this premium spirit captures the taste of fresh, ripe coconut.
Maui’s finest vodka honors the island’s rich pineapple heritage by distilling its liquor from the iconic fruit. Pau Maui Vodka (paumaui.com) hails from a distillery in Hali‘imaile on the slope of Haleakala, the home of pineapple plantations for more than a century.
Desalinated ocean mineral water mined from 3,000 feet deep off the coast of Kona on Hawai‘i Island is the key ingredient in Ocean Vodka (oceanvodka.com). Seventy naturally occurring minerals are what give this award-winning vodka its refined taste.