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Maui – Ocean Vodka Farm

After a lovely morning at the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm, I headed to the farm at Ocean Vodka to learn how this popular organic vodka is made. The farm offers a tour and tasting of their vodka for $10 a person with really entertaining tour guides.

They grow 30 kinds of organic sugarcane on their 80 acres and do the entire production and bottling on-site. There are many varieties of sugarcane throughout the world, but only 50 strains have names, something I found to be really interesting. At Ocean Vodka they mainly use two which I scribbled down and cannot read in my notes! I got to taste them both, this is what they look like:

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In addition, Ocean Vodka is trying to preserve the original Polynesian varieties that came as part of the original canoe crops (I wrote about these crops in my Hilo Farm Tour post) and they have 27 of these strains in a Polynesian Preservation Field.

Unlike the burning that they do in the other parts of the island, the sugar cane here is handpicked with a machete which is why the plants are grown in a very organized way, 12 feet apart so that machetes and water can get in there.

Ocean Vodka Sugar Cane
Photo credit: HawaiiONTV.com

On the tour, they walked through the process of making their organic product in the distillery, how they bottle it, and how to taste the vodka. They are also family-run, a surfing family to boot, and I love the surfing posters in the bottling area – a reminder of what they are working hard for!

Working hard to go surfing!

Besides being organic, small-batch, and local, Ocean Vodka has a really unique and fascinating ingredient..the water. It is brought to the surface off the Kona Coast from 3000 feet below. It is then organically purified and desalinated with a proprietary, natural filtration process that removes sodium while retaining all the rich minerals.

This water is bottled and becomes Mahalo Water, the most expensive water in the world. It is also Hawaii's number one export and is not shipped to the U.S. but rather to Japan (40, 40-foot containers every month) where is sold for $6-8 a bottle, a 16-oz bottle, not even 2 liters! The pH balance of the water is the same as plasma or human blood, and the Japanese view it as medicinal. What I can tell you is that it makes a darn good vodka!

Ocean Vodka Sizes
The Ocean Vodka family..and the inconspicuous water in the corner

Organic sugar cane and Mahalo water using solar-powered machinery equals sensational!

Their vodka can be found in 34 states and some Canadian provinces and is served on every Hawaiian Airlines flight (I know because I may have had a drink on my flight….).

I won't say that it is a great place for kids, although there were children the day I went. They can't taste the vodka and even the truffles in the gift shop have them as well, but it is a fun spot for adults! Whether it is for a tour, an event like a wedding, or one of their new concert series that Ocean Vodka has put together, the folks who run this place are super cool! They have a great website with lots of drink recipes, I have tried the Strawberry and Thai basil drink, and it is delicious! If you like their Facebook page there is a “quitting time” recipe every Friday.

How about you? Have you been to a vodka farm or distillery? How about a sugar cane farm?

My visit to Hawaii was courtesy of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, my farm tour was comped. As always, all opinions are my own.

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  1. When I first read the title, I seriously pictured green plants with dangling shot glasses growing right up to the shoreline. Yep.

    This is fascinating, though! Especially the part about the water. I can just imagine telling my husband, “But I *NEED* the $8 plasma pH water — it’s medicinal!” I am curious to try it though. I wonder why they don’t export to the U.S.? Maybe can’t keep up with demand as it is…

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Katie, hee-hee, wouldn’t that be fun! American won’t pay $6-8 so I don’t think they even try to sell it here. The bottle looks like something you would walk right by at any supermarket or drug store it is hilarious!

  2. Oh wow. I would love to try this vodka. It sounds like it would be delicious.

  3. Great post. I would love to try some. Thank you for sharing.