While in Hawaii you cannot escape the ocean. And who would want to?
So when esteemed Chef Olelo pa’a Faith Ogawa of Glow Hawai’i, whose culinary arts defy convention while nodding to tradition and resource conservation, shared with us her favorite spirit, Ocean Vodka, we could not refuse.
Please note that in the land of pineapples and volcanoes it is easy to stick to the stereotypical mixtures like the Mai Tai, Pina Colada and Chi Chi. They really are so yummy. But with such an abundance of fresh foods available you really are better off taking a walk on the wild side.
Which brings us back to Ocean Vodka, made with an exceptional variety of sugar cane, organically grown alongside Madame Pele, Hawaii’s goddess of fire. But as the name intimates, it is big blue herself that provides the key ingredient: ultra pure glacier water which traveled from Iceland along the deep sea current and is collected 3,000 feet below the Pacific Ocean surface off the coast of Hawaii.
The end result is one if the finest vodka experiences you’ll ever have. This vodka is one of the rare spirits that intensifies the natural flavors of the items inside. Olelo used three sprigs of seaweeds, a native pepper, green olive and pearl onion and a hint of Martini and Rossi vermouth. After the first sip we bit into a plump piece of ogo, like you might suck the juice of a lime after a shot of tequila. Amazing.
If your tastes lean more to sweets than savory you might prefer passion fruit nectar, guava, lychee or pineapple. Even fresh watermelon fairly pops when added to this spirit.