Kuleana Rum Works Huihui: Drink of the Week - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Drink of the Week: Kuleana Rum Works Huihui

Daiquiris aren’t usually top of mind in the middle of winter. Unless, of course, you happen to be in Hawai’i, in which case, break out the limes and let the rum flow. But even if late January finds you far from the tropics and scraping ice from your windshield each morning, it’s still possible to take a little trip to the islands during cocktail hour, courtesy of Huihui, a perfect mixing rum from one of this year’s Imbibe 75 Places to Watch: Kuleana Rum Works.

Based on the Big Island of Hawai’i, Kuleana is taking rum in interesting directions. As growers, they’re raising estate-grown sugarcane using heirloom varieties that trace their lineage back to the types of cane first brought to the islands more than 1,000 years ago. As distillers, they press the cane and use the fresh juice to make an agricole-style rum similar to those produced in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Then, as blenders, they take some of this Hawaiian-made rum and combine it with other rums sourced from South America, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. The result is a lineup of spirits that span the rum spectrum, offering options great for sipping or for mixing into cocktails.

Huihui is Kuleana’s chief mixing rum. It’s a crisp, clear blend built upon a foundation of molasses-based rum from Papua New Guinea. This light-style rum is then fleshed out with the fuller flavor of Kuleana’s own Hawaiian rum, and accented with an aromatic rhum agricole from Martinique.

The blend is bottled at 80 proof (40 percent ABV). It comes through in the glass as grassy and vibrant, with a roundness of caramelized sugar and the brightness of lime peel and tropical fruit. The combination is soft enough to be approachable even to the rum novice, but fragrant and vivacious enough to hold its own in a cocktail shaker when matched with fresh citrus, a touch of sugar, and whatever fresh fruits or modifiers might come its way. Try it a classic way, via the Hemingway Daiquiri, or a contemporary take, the Parasol.

This taste of Hawaiian sunshine is distributed in select U.S. markets and is also available online. $39.99, kuleanarum.com

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