Pau Maui Vodka
The only ultra-premium vodka fermented from Hawaiian pineapples is Pau Maui, a local brand of vodka that’s actually made in Maui. The pineapple provides a clean “mash” from which to start the fermentation process, and luckily for us, there isn’t a single hint of pineapple left on the palette.
“Once distilled, we mix it with crystal clear Hawaiian spring water,” says brand manager, Melissa Venglass. “We take a lot of care in selecting what goes into our spring water. And, more importantly, what doesn’t.”
Their unique distillation process uses one-of-a-kind glass stills, and their laboratory-grade glass has a neutral ph and cleanliness, which allows the vodka to be distilled in its natural state.
Distilled, blended and bottled in Maui, Venglass says the response to Pau Maui Vodka has been a great one, and given their success in 2011, they’ve started selling on the US mainland.
“Our goal is to get in all 50 states within the next two years!”
Historically Pressed since 1928
Supporting the art of printmaking in Hawaii for more than 80 years, Honolulu Printmakers built one heck of a program, which over the years, consistently offers classes and artist exhibitions, summer workshops and lectures. Their prints are among some of the most coveted prints within Hawaii’s galleries and museums and private collections, and according to Laura Smith, the executive director, what sets their organization apart from others like them, is that they have an actual place to work.
“We had a workshop in an old gas station at Honolulu Community College,” Smith says. “But when we moved to the Academy Art Center, we became more visible. The community access studio became more of a focal point for artists.”
Smith says the organization has been successful because printmakers are used to working together. “We share presses,” she says, “and [that] keeps us in touch with each other.”
What about gifting a membership to the Honolulu Printmakers this holiday? For $20, give something new to someone who either has it all or who needs something of lasting, local value.
Meditating on Cotton
Dragon Mama is one of those places we wish we had on Oahu. It’s located in Hilo and specializes in the hand-crafting of comforters, futon pads, and pillows and uses organic cotton whenever possible. They’re a major supplier for many of the Zen centers and Vipassana groups in Hawaii, and their zafus (meditation cushions) and zabutons (Japanese-style cushion used for sitting on the floor) are hand-crafted from natural fiber. They also offer ethnic and domestic fabric for custom futons and chairs, ranging from $6–$20 per yard, and their natural fiber pillows range from $24–$82.
Is it really a splurge to buy buckwheat hull pillows ($49) or silk eye pillows with flax seeds ($11)? Maybe, but it seems like the perfect way to say to a friend–relax this holiday, or at least sleep on it.