What is Okolehao?

Dave Flintstone is the man behind Island Distillers, the maker of Honolulu’s Hawaiian Moonshine. After sampling a delicious Haitian rum in the Caribbean, he decided to try his hand at distilling liquor, and he moved back to Hawaii to pursue that dream. Now, he is a proud purveyor of Okolehao Hawaiian Moonshine, a traditional Hawaiian liquor.

Okolehao is made from the ti root, a well-known decorative plant also used in the making of this traditional Hawaiian beverage. Ti root was originally the source of a fermented drink consumed by indigenous people on the islands. However, as the 18th century neared its end, the art of distilling was introduced to the islands’ inhabitants. Okolehao, translated as “iron bottom,” takes its name from the pair of large iron pots used to store the mash from the ti root.

Over time, people have tweaked the recipe, adding sugars and pineapple to sweeten the drink. Island Distillers produces both a 100-proof Moonshine and a Hawaiian vodka in the spirit of this traditional drink.