Taste of Hawaii: The Best Hawaiian Drinks | Hawaii Rum, Beer, Wine | Islands

Taste of Hawaii: The Best Hawaiian Drinks

You might think of the Caribbean as the cocktail mecca, but Hawaii boasts a surprising number of tasty drinks that are sure to appeal to any island visitor. And, if you’re like us, you must check a bag so you can bring a bottle (or two) back home!

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Best Hawaiian Drinks: Kona Brewing Company Beer

Best Hawaiian Drinks: Kona Brewing Company Beer

Anybody who knows me well can tell you two things: I’m obsessed with Hawaii and I’m not a beer drinker. So my friends were shocked when I brought a six-pack of Kona Brewing Company’s Wailua Ale to a recent get-together after a trip to the Big Island. The promise of “liquid aloha” sucked me in, and one sip led to another, and another. I actually like the stuff. It’s brewed with passion fruit, which gives the beer an unexpected (and tropical) sweetness. Which brings me to the third thing my friends will tell you about me: I have a huge sweet tooth. If you’re a beer traditionalist, Kona’s Fire Rock Pale Ale or Pipeline Porter are probably more your style.

Best Hawaiian Drinks: Maui's Winery Wine

Best Hawaiian Drinks: Maui's Winery Wine

Combining wine and pineapple is as genius as combining chocolate and peanut butter. Maui's Winery produces not one but three wines using fresh pineapple juice. Since I'm a fan of all things bubbly, I manufacture celebratory occasions to have a reason to sip the Pineapple Sparkling Wine. On non-celebratory days, Maui Blanc and Maui Sweet are more than acceptable stand-ins.

Best Hawaiian Drinks: Koloa Rum Company Rum

Best Hawaiian Drinks: Koloa Rum Company Rum

I don’t want to say I drink a ton of rum, but let’s be honest, I drink a ton of rum. When I heard that a distillery on Kauai was cranking out its own version of liquid heaven, I was skeptical. How good could a Hawaiian rum be? Two bottles later I’ve found a new favorite: Koloa Rum Company. Seriously, this is great stuff with a refined smoothness that almost makes it a crime to use in a mixer. However, if you do decide to make a dark ’n’ stormy, you’ll not only find it to be the best you’ve ever had, but you’re also uniting two different oceans with one delicious treat. I tasted (drank profusely) both the dark and the spiced varieties, and both hit the highest mark of digestive excellence. Raise a glass. Or 10. And invite me over.

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Best Hawaiian Drinks: Hawaii Vodka

Aloha, Comrade. Not what you were expecting? Me either, but Hawaiian Vodka does a surprisingly good job putting a Pacific spin on a Russian classic. Smooth and delicious, the traditionally flavored (but lava-rock-filtered) vodka tasted perfect with a little dash of tonic, and even better all by its lonesome.

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