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Rum Hawaiian Style: Kohala Sunset

There is nothing quite like the view of a sunset over the Kohala Coast here on the Big Island. This rum based cocktail was created as a tribute to the warm hues of red and orange that burst open across the sky every evening. The inspiration for the drink was a recipe that I came across in a Japanese magazine. The original was a little less nuanced and meant to be enjoyed warm, but I am taking some liberties including serving it over ice. It's similar in concept to the Ecuadorian Canelazo (there's a great recipe here by Katie At The Kitchen Door), minus the sugar and the lime juice.


Use a good local rum from as close to where you are standing as possible, as that is what we encourage here at Kitchen Daoist--staying as local as possible, whenever possible (not to make you jealous, but the cinnamon and citrus that I use are straight from my backyard!) If you prefer to keep with the spirit of the drink, use a well-crafted Hawaiian rum instead, Old Lahaina and Kōloa being the two that come readily to mind, but there are several more out there which are worth experimenting with, each beautiful in its own way just like the sunsets ...



450 g water

150 g brown sugar

5 ea cinnamon sticks

400 g freshly squeezed orange juice, divided

200 g freshly squeezed tangerine juice

2 limes

120 g Koloa Dark Rum



Combine the brown sugar, water, cinnamon and half of the orange juice in a sauce pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer the syrup until slightly thickened and fragrant.

Add the remaining orange and tangerine juice to the pot and continue to simmer for one to two minutes longer, then remove from heat. Cool thoroughly and reserve.

Pour the mixture into four glasses with ice. Stir the juice of half a lime and 30 g of rum into each glass and serve. Garnish with the cinnamon sticks and sliced citrus.

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