Everywhere we look are signs of people striving to be more local-centric … supporting our farmers, local businesses and growth within the 808.
In our grocery stores are areas dedicated to local products, which I absolutely love. Although this is a trend throughout the nation, I truly believe that Hawaii is unique in the sense of pride we take in things grown here and not flown here, given that we live amid such bounty.
It is only natural to want to explore this theme with the spirits in our glasses. Hawaii continues to grow its footprint in the spirit world, and it is exciting to see some of the juice that is putting us on the map. Here are a few tried-and-true recipes, each one guaranteed to be a hit.
ON A recent trip to London, I was lucky enough to visit the American Bar at the Savoy, one of the most iconic bars in the world. Everything is done with excellence and flair, and the bar has been voted best bar at the Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans more times than I can count.
Of all the amazing cocktails I tried there, the most impressive was the daiquiri. Although ridiculously simple to make, the balance was perfection.
This KoHana variation comes closest to the drink I had that night. The aged rum adds just the right amount of depth, and the Demerara, a minimally processed raw sugar, brings in the umami needed to make this cocktail sing.
DAIQUIRI NO. 1
By Chandra Lucariello
1 ounce fresh lime juice
3/4 ounce Demerara syrup (2 parts Demerara sugar to 1 part hot water)
1/2 ounce KoHana Koho Rum
1-1/2 ounces KoHana Kea Agricole Rum
Combine ingredients in mixing glass with ice. Shake and strain into coupe or martini glass.
>> Garnish: Lime twist.
OLD LAHAINA Rum is distilled on Maui in Paia, in the island’s last remaining sugar mill.
The distillery looks like an old dilapidated building — proprietor Paul Case wanted to preserve the history that the building represented, so he built a building within the old building. The inside is all new construction, outfitted with pot stills, and bottling and labeling lines.
Old Lahaina is a great mixing rum as the silver is somewhat neutral and the dark makes for a fantastic float. This is a great mai tai that tastes like vacation, but without high-fructose corn syrup or sugary imitation juices.
1/2 ounce orange curacao (like Pierre Ferrand Dry)
1 ounce Old Lahaina silver rum
1 ounce Old Lahaina dark rum
Combine ingredients, except dark rum, in mixing glass with ice. Shake and strain over ice into pre-rimmed bucket glass. Float dark rum on top.
>> Garnish: Macadamia salt on rim (2 parts nuts, 1 part sea salt and 1 part sugar, pulverized in blender), thin pineapple half moon and pineapple leaves tucked into glass.
The good folks at Hawaii Sea Spirits are a longtime Maui family that saw the need for a well-made local vodka. Organic Ocean Vodka is made from organic sugar cane and deep-ocean mineral water from Kona.
Kula Mist celebrates all things Kula, with lavender syrup and fresh cucumber. It will satisfy any tropical cocktail craving, minus the kitschy fake purees and sub-par juices.
Cucumber and lavender are a match made in heaven, and the lime and pineapple add just enough acid to refresh.
By Chandra Lucariello
3 cucumber wheels
3/4 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce lavender syrup (note)
2 ounces pineapple juice
2 ounces Organic Ocean Vodka
Muddle (crush) cucumber with lime juice and syrup. Add pineapple juice, vodka and ice. Shake and strain over ice into glass.
>> Garnish: cucumber flower and thin pineapple wedges.
>> To make lavendar syrup: Bring to boil 2 cups sugar, 1 cup water and 1/2 cup dried lavender (Kula if possible). Simmer 3 minutes; cool and strain. Keeps 3 weeks in fridge.
Old Pali Road Whiskey is made from as much local corn as they can get their hands on, creating a sweet and refined corn distillate that is blended with water. To create depth and age, the distillate is blended with Kentucky bourbon-style whiskey. As their own liquor has time to age, Brooks and Dill hope to create a fully local whiskey.
As it is, because the base distillate is on the lighter side, the end product is also lighter, making it almost quaffable — perfect for our climate.
This whiskey makes a fantastic smash, which is basically a julep with lemon. Local orange bumps it up and the honey syrup adds just enough funk.
By Chandra Lucariello
2 Kau orange slices
8-10 mint leaves
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce honey
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 ounces Old Pali Road Whiskey
Press orange and mint into lemon and honey. Add bitters, whiskey and ice. Shake and strain over ice into bucket glass.
>> Garnish: Orange twist and mint.
Nutritional information unavailable.
Chandra Lucariello is director of mixology for Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits of Hawaii. Ingredient note: The liquors and liqueurs used in these recipes are widely available from Oahu liquor stores and some supermarkets.