Photo by Kristin Hettermann, courtesy Ocean Vodka
A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg |
A little bit of the ocean came with my family to the desert last week, when I brought a bottle of Ocean Vodka on vacation to Palm Springs. This craft distillery—which recently announced its expansion into rums, whiskies, bourbons and organic liqueurs and is sold locally at BevMo, Lazy Acres and Vons, among others—bills itself as “the only spirit in the world made with the sun, ocean and organic Earth.”
Based in Maui, just a short drive from Maui’s Kahului International Airport, Ocean Vodka is produced about 1,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, with breathtaking panoramic views of the North and South Shores of Maui, the West Maui Mountains and 10,000 ft. Mount Haleakala. Given the location, it’s not surprising that the company now offers public tours and tastings from their 80-acre organic farm.
The tours include information on sustainable and organic farming practices through abundant fields of organic sugar cane; a local history of Hawaii sugar cane farming with species identification; organic spirits distillation with state-of-the-art equipment, including a 60-foot tall column still; and green manufacturing processes in a 6,000 square foot solar-powered bottling center.
In addition to producing what I can attest to as a very nice, smooth vodka, this place is also very green: The Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery utilizes solar panels to power 100% of the operations of the distillery and facility. The sugar cane is organically farmed on rich, volcanic soils without the use of synthetic pesticides or herbicides, and mature sugar cane stalks are hand-harvested for processing.
Martini Garden and Gift Shop. Photo by Jessica Pearl, courtesy Ocean Vodka
The place even has a Martini Garden, designed specifically for martini lovers, and growing fresh, local ingredients such as Kula lavender, local citrus, passion fruit, pineapple and strawberries.
Not only that, since its inception in 2005, Ocean Vodka has given a portion of proceeds to oceanic preservation and conservation causes, such as Oceana and Surfrider Foundation.
Sounds like we’ll have to take our next family vacation in Maui!
Meanwhile, here’s their recipe for a Spa Cosmo, straight out of the Martini Garden, to put you in an ocean kind of mood no matter where your travels take you!
Ocean Vodka’s Spa Cosmo
2 oz. Ocean Vodka
1 oz. Pomegranate Juice
1/2 oz. Cointreau
1/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Dash of Simple Syrup, if Needed
Orange Twist (or Cucumber) for Garnish
Combine in a mixing glass and shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with lime twist.
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Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on December 6, 2103.
When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”