A Hawaiʻi rum maker’s modern take on cocktail classics is shaking up the Hawaiian Airlines in-flight beverage menu.
Starting today, our main cabin guests can sip on new Kō Hana Rum craft cocktails, including a tangy Pineapple Daiquiri and a reimagined Mai Tai, both made with fresh ingredients and Hawaiian Agricole rum farmed in the heart of Oʻahu.
The Mai Tai, which debuts today, is made with two Kō Hana rums, bright orange and lime flavors and a hint of orgeat. The Pineapple Daiquiri, a guest favorite introduced earlier this year, includes notes of fresh pineapple, lime and a Kō Hana white rum. Both options are available for purchase on select flights.*
“Providing our guests with a genuine, unparalleled Hawaiʻi travel experience is what we do best, with island-made products the centerpiece of our award-winning service and hospitality. We’ve admired Kō Hana Rum since its beginnings and are proud to call them our newest local product partner,” said Renee Awana, managing director of product development at Hawaiian Airlines.
“At Kō Hana, we have always cherished the spirit of collaboration with local businesses, but partnering with Hawaiian Airlines takes our commitment to a whole new altitude. This collaboration not only elevates the in-flight experience but also celebrates the essence of Hawai'i and creates unforgettable memories from departure to arrival,” says Tiffany Tubon, brand manager at Kō Hana Rum.
Kō Hana Rum first crossed paths with our airline when it was an inaugural cohort member of Mana Up’s accelerator program. We have proudly served as the exclusive airline partner of Mana Up since 2017, working alongside the small Hawai‘i business incubator to elevate and spotlight local products.
Our partnership with Kō Hana supports our goal to increase local sourcing of food and beverages. Last year, 32% of our catering budget was spent on Hawaiʻi-produced items served on flights departing the islands, bringing us closer to our 40% spending target by 2025.
Kō Hana Rum was founded in Kunia, Oʻahu in 2014, and its connoisseurs have worked tirelessly to forge their path in Agricole rum by using 34 varieties of kō (Hawaiian sugar cane), which Co-founder Jason Brand dubs “nature’s Gatorade,” as its staple ingredient.
As a farm-first business and growing agricultural employer, it entrusts scores of local farm workers to care for its (soon-to-be) 800 acres of kō and ensure each crop is grown to reach maximum flavor potential. The cane is hand-harvested, pressed to juice, fermented, distilled and rested or aged on-site.
“The majority of rum in the world is made from molasses, the waste product of industrial sugar. Our Agricole style celebrates the sugarcane – akin to a winery loving the grape,” Kyle Reutner, general manager at Kō Hana Rum, explained in a past interview on Manaʻo.
The distiller also distinguishes itself with its unique barrel aging program and uses custom American Oak and sustainably sourced Hawaiian Koa wood barrels. To further its sustainability efforts, Kō Hana is working on a long-term restoration initiative that will transition seven acres behind its Kunia farm back to native forestland and is slated to begin next year.
After each batch has rested or aged, Kō Hana is left with one of the world's finest cane-derived rums. The finished product is then encased in artisan glassware reminiscent of a French perfume bottle or mixed with local fruit flavors to make the perfect cocktail for a Hawaiʻi vacation.
Those exploring Oʻahu can add a tour of Kō Hana Rum’s distillery, farm and tasting room to their itinerary by visiting www.KoHanaRum.com. To see our full menu and learn more about our other local in-flight products, visit www.HawaiianAirlines.com/our-services/in-flight-services/dining-and-drinks.
*Available for purchase in the main cabin on flights between Hawaiʻi and North America, American Samoa, Cook Islands and Tahiti.