Created in the late 18th century, okolehao, Hawaii's sweet moonshine, has a long and wild history.
According to legend, the original version of okolehao (sometimes called oke) was created by British sea captain Nathaniel Portlock, who cooked up the root of the Ti plant, turning it into a crude version of beer meant to prevent scurvy.
Ten years later, an escaped convict from Australia fled to the island and, with two iron pots, distilled the beer into an insanely strong liquor. Although it was enjoyed islandwide, the drink was banned in 1818 by King Kamehameha, at the urging of Protestant missionaries. (Also banned? The Hula dance.)
Although the oke ban was lifted in 1833, it was reinstated in the 1920s when prohibition spread across the United States. This event led to the bootlegging era of okelehao, turning it into the official moonshine of Hawaii.
Today, while the original recipe is up for debate, oke is sold legally on the island. The folks at Island Distilleries believe their 100 proof version is the most authentic.