STORY & PHOTO BY BECKY SPEERE
When my Las Vegas sister-in-law, Isabel, comes to Maui to visit, she gets into the island spirit with a rum and Coke. Nothing fancy, but it hits the spot on a hot summer’s day, when the bubbles and ice are especially welcoming. I finally gave in and tried one for the first time on her last visit. It was delightful!
I created this rum holiday cocktail with her in mind: Liliko‘i-Coconut Hot Buttered Rum. Distilled on Maui, Hawaii Sea Spirits’ KULA Rum is made with fresh-squeezed, organic sugarcane juices (the crop is grown on the farm surrounding the distillery in Ōma‘opio) and blended with fresh mineral waters sourced 3,000 feet deep off the coast of the Big Island of Hawai‘i.
On a cold nineteen-degree morning in Las Vegas, when the rare snow flurry blows over the flat, dry desert, draping the land with a light veil of snow, Isabel will be dancing a spirited hula, inspired by Hot-Buttered Liliko‘i-Coconut Rum.
Cheers to the holidays and New Year 2021!
Liliko‘i-Coconut Hot Buttered Rum Recipe
Yield: 2 cocktails
- 2 Tbsp. liliko‘i purée* warmed to 110–120 degrees
- 2 tsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 rounded tsp. crystallized Maui Raw (winter)
- Honey, or to taste
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 shots KULA Coconut Rum**
- 2 shots KULA Dark Rum**
- orange peel for garnish
Method: In heatproof glasses or your favorite mugs, divide butter and honey. Carefully add hot water to each and stir well to combine. Add 1 Tbsp. liliko‘i purée to each glass and divide the rums into each glass. Stir well, garnish with peel and enjoy! Salud!
* Find liliko‘i purée at PerfectPuree.com. (Or, if you live in Hawai‘i, ask your neighbors whether they have liliko‘i.)
** Find KULA Dark Rum and Coconut Rum at select liquor outlets on the mainland, or at KulaRum.com, info@OceanVodka.com, (808) 877-0009. If you are on Maui, you can substitute with Brum, Hawaii Sea Spirits’ limited-edition rum (6,000 bottles), made with rums sourced from around the world, aged four to eight years, then aged onsite another one to two years in repurposed whiskey barrels; sold only at the distillery.