Rum is an age-old Caribbean spirit made from fermenting sugarcane. Its Caribbean roots make it a staple for tropical cocktails. Hawaii may not be anywhere near the Caribbean, but it is synonymous with tropical paradise.
Since Hawaii has the same warm, tropical climates as the Caribbean and many of the same tropical crops like coffee, pineapples, and coconuts, Hawaii is also a formidable rum producer.
Below, you’ll find a list of the best Hawaiian rums to try for your next tropical cocktail extravaganza.
Koloa Rum has been an award-winning distillery since its debut in 2009, using the freshest rainwater to filter through Hawaiian volcanic strata. They also use locally grown sugar cane along with native Hawaiian coffee and chocolate products.
Koloa Rum produces white, gold, and dark rum. Koloa dark rum is a fan favorite, with a sweet caramel taste and a finish of hot baking spices that leaves in the heat.
Meaning “moon” in Hawaiian, Mahina Rum is a premium rum company with a distillery at the base of the Hale Mahina Mountains in Maui. They pride themselves on using the highest quality ingredients to create a uniquely Hawaiian-flavored rum.
Their dark rum offers a complex palate of crème Brulee, bananas, and caramel with a smooth finish that’s perfect for sipping.
Founded by rockstar and rum aficionado Sammy Hagar, Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum is actually a Puerto Rican-style rum made using Puerto Rican sugar cane with a triple distillation process.
Sammy’s Beach Bar is one of various bars and restaurants in Maui owned by Hagar, where you can get his proprietary rum. The rum stands out because it’s flavored with Hawaiian notes of macadamia, kola nut, banana, and Kona coffee.
One of the newest distilleries in Hawaii, Kuleana Rum Works originated in 2013. They take great pride in their sustainable practices. Kuleana Rum is a modern rum that comes in unaged white, gold, and Agricole varieties.
Their most decorated variety is the Hawaiian Rum Agricole, made from fresh Hawaiin sugar cane juice, delivering a powerful 60-75% abv.
Hawaiian rums offer a fresh and contemporary take on historic distilling traditions. Using prized Hawaiian crops to instill flavor and quality, Hawaiian rums give the Caribbean a run for its money!
After sipping your way through my list, let me know which Hawaiian rum you like the most in the comments.
I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.
In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.