Spring is in full swing and the warmer Hawaiian weather is upon us. Already we’re seeing temperatures in the mid 80’s with a humidity level in the low 70’s, and the trades have died down just enough to give everyone in Hawaii a taste of summer’s humid climate. There are a variety of ways to avoid the heat this summer, but one of my favorite ways is by enjoying a beverage. Non alcoholic of course, unless it’s pau hana hour.
For those traveling to the islands this summer, I’ve compiled a quick list of the top 5 Hawaii drinks to help you refresh in the heat and rejuvenate midday. Sometimes all you need is an icy beverage to melt the sweat away! It sure helps me when I’m feeling hot and bothered from lack of trade winds, so may you find respite in these tips and cool down.
The most recognizable juice of the islands is called POG (passion fruit, orange, guava) and originated in 1971. Now produced by Meadow Gold Dairy, POG juice typically comes in a milk-style carton that is colored guava red with a cartoon character throwing shaka. You can also find POG in smaller bottles and half gallons and some airlines even give out the juice as a ‘welcome to Hawaii’ beverage upon arrival in the islands. POG is sweet and refreshing, and tastes decidedly like the tropics. Keep it in the fridge and on hot days drink it straight from the carton. Just don’t let dad see.
A virgin lava flow is usually ordered at a bar or restaurant, and I recommend this drink when you’ve been at the pool or beach all day. If you’ve been exposed to the heat, I recommend keeping the lava flow virgin, since alcohol only further dehydrates your body. Consuming a thick, smoothie-like drink helps to cool you down from the inside out, and there’s nothing like the creamy, rich flavor of coconut, banana, pineapple and strawberries blended together. Lava flows usually come with the little umbrella to make you feel extra relaxed and refreshed.
Hawaii offers a wide variety of tropical iced tea flavors, and this is a great mid day pick-me-up. From mango, peach and pineapple to green tea, browse any grocery store and you’ll likely find whatever your heart desires. If you’re looking for something quick to grab and enjoy, I recommend Hawaiian Sun Tropical Iced Tea in the can or Arizona Green Tea, which can be found at any store that sells drinks. If you’re looking for tea bags or loose leaf tea to bring home and make on your own, I recommend the Teavana brand and more specifically their Peachberry Jasmine Sutra Green Tea, Pineapple Kona Pop Herbal Tea or Acai Matetini Mate Tea.
To really rejuvenate your senses while still staying cool, my next drink suggestion is iced Kona coffee. While it’s much easier to find 100% Kona coffee in Hawaii, it’s still not overly common to find it in every coffee shop. However, Starbucks does have a Starbucks Reserve 100% Kona, of Parry Estate in Mauna Loa in their shops. Island Vintage Coffee, another coffee chain in Hawaii, also offers 100% Kona coffee in their cafes. You can find bags of 100% Kona coffee on shelves in local grocery stores or specialty gift shops. And remember, I’m not recommending you drink this coffee HOT. Be sure to fill it up with plenty ice cubes and cream and you’ll have a delightfully refreshing and rejuvenating beverage.
Lastly, and most simply, I recommend fruit infused water as a through-out-the-day sort of drink. It helps you stay hydrated yet gives a bit of flare to normal tap water, encouraging you to drink more of it. My favorite fruit to infuse is just lime with ice, and I especially love to serve it in a wide wine glass (life’s about the details, right?). But a variety of fruits like pineapple, cucumber, strawberries and oranges also make for deliciously tainted water. This is my favorite way to stay hydrated because calories are insignificant yet the flavor hits the spot!