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Liquor Store

Kelowna, Canada
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Liquor Store

I asked this question in a different topic and it kind of went off-track even though I've enjoyed reading all the responses. I had thought about stopping at costco before heading to Mauna Lani from the airport but thinking if there is a liquor store close by and the prices are comparable we'll just use that one. How close are we to a liquor store and what are the meat prices like in the grocery store compared to costco as well. From what I can see there is no farmer's market close by at the beginning of the trip (we arrive on a monday afternoon)..we are planning a day trip to VNP so maybe we can do that near the beginning and catch the market in Hilo. Also anyplace we can get Orgeat syrup for Mai Tai's? I've been experimenting today and what I came up with is pretty tasty. Going to start a new topic to see what everyone else's recipes for mai tai's are.

Island of Hawaii...
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1. Re: Liquor Store

Orgeat is pretty expensive here, like $8.00 a bottle. I have been making my own orgeat for years, it's pretty easy if you use almond extract or almond bakery emulsion. (I prefer the latter.) Use two cups of brown sugar and one cup of water for bar quality syrup. (Bring it to boil, lower the heat, add the almond and a splash of OJ, simmer for five minutes, cover and let it cool.)

Check out my award winning Mai Tai recipe at http://konaforum.com (click on "Kona Discussion Boards" and click on "Favorite Recipes" and click on "Drinks of the Lanai") and while there check out the "Puna Blaze" too! (My Mai Tai is so good, they don't even let me enter the yearly Mai Tai festival anymore!)

Edited: 25 September 2011, 02:06
Island of Hawaii...
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2. Re: Liquor Store

We have very few liquor stores here. The place to buy liquor is typically at the market or at the drug store (Longs/CVS), or to an extent at a convenience store like 7/11.

There is a liquor store in Waimea (Kamuela Liquors), but they are known for their wine, not for liquor prices. There used to be a liquor store at Kawaihae, but it closed, and it was not a large store at all.

Foodland Farms at Mauna Lani sells an array of liquor. If they don't have it, Island Gourmet will.

I keep telling people there is an every day farmer's market at Kawaihae. I even started a topic on it, but the info doesn't seem to be getting picked up. Kawaihae is a short cruise north of Mauna Lani.

Also, there seems to be a false conception that you need a farmer's market for fresh produce. Absolutely not true. There is dynamite produce at Waikoloa Village Market and Foodland Farms is just fine. The same farmers who sell to FM vendors also sell their produce to the markets (but not typically to Costco).

I can't compare prices to Costco because I gave up my membership, but my son shops there and I have to eat Costco food when I visit him. I think their food sucks compared to the market food; in fact, I usually pack what I want to eat with me rather than eat that stuff, or I run over to WVM or FF. ! I know people do like the Costco meats, but WVM has excellent meat. FF has a good fish counter with in person service.

Seven years ago if you had asked this, the shopping options were poor in South Kohala, and I would have directed you to Foodland and KTA in Waimea, but all that has changed. You can get whatever you need close to Mauna Lani.

If you want to spend your vacation time in a warehouse store, by all means, but vacation time is precious and you may be watching your first sunset looking in your rear view mirror if you go to Costco first.

You know you can bring your own Orgeat in your checked bags. It should travel just fine if you wrap something around it (and use a Ziploc).

As far as buying produce in Hilo goes, good idea as all food is cheaper in Hilo, BUT be sure to have a cooler for it and some blue ice frozen, because food does not travel well here.

Which is another thing about Costco. They put your stuff in boxes and it is an hour before you get to your condo, and then you aren't even checked in, so then you have all this perishable stuff baking in your car. I would say get checked in first, then go shopping.

I have also had one too many experiences with the Costco boxes harboring roaches, the little ones, which live in the seams and then get into your trunk, or the place you are staying. Sorry if it's gross, but I won't take boxes from anywhere, not Island Naturals either. Roaches love them.

Edited: 25 September 2011, 02:23
Kelowna, Canada
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3. Re: Liquor Store

thank you so much kamaaink....I really don't shop at costco...gave up my membership here years ago....if there is good variety close to my condo I'd far prefer to do my shopping there. My only other reference to shopping in Hawaii was when we went to Maui and it was $9.00 for a gallon of milk in Safeway. It was just my husband and myself on that trip and we ate out. With seven of us this time (three of them teenage boys) it's not economically feasible to do so. I'm glad to hear of so many options close to where we're staying. I didn't want to waste valuable vacation time travelling to grocery stores,

Kelowna, Canada
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4. Re: Liquor Store

I also keep forgetting that the liquor sale laws are different in the states then Canada and that you can get liquor in the grocery stores...convenience stores etc. Here we have to go to stores that only sell liquor. It's always a shock to walk into 7-11 in the states and buy beer with your slurpee lol

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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5. Re: Liquor Store

aah, well I forgot where you were coming from.

We do have a law that you can't purchase off sale alcohol after 11 pm. The registers at the markets will not ring it up.

When you shop at Foodland, look for the MaiKa'i special tags in yellow. Sign up for your MK card at the register. It is free. If you go to Safeway, do the same with the Club Card. It seems like a third of the items are on club special. It amazes me when I see tourists who don't sign up and actually pay the full prices.

Even though we don't have the same liquor control laws as Canada in say, California, there are large liquor stores there that specialize in liquor, but we just don't have that on this island. I remember stopping at one on Maui a few years back, so I know they exist in Hawai'i, but not here.

Longs has good liquor prices, but I doubt you will save enough to pay for the gas it takes to drive to Kailua. There are two Longs Drugs in Hilo as well. Maybe pop in while you're in Kailua of Hilo, but get started on your vacation at Foodland Mauna Lani for convenience?

Oakland, CA
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6. Re: Liquor Store

The liquor laws here vary from state to state--sometimes county to county. Massachusetts used to have quite restrictive "blue laws". When I lived there, the grocery stores had to lock up the beer/wine/liquor section on Sundays. I witnessed a visiting Frenchwoman get quite emotional in a Boston supermarket one Sunday afternoon. "But wine is food!" she kept crying as they tried to explain the law to her. As a California native, I was completely on her side.

Big Island, Hawaii
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7. Re: Liquor Store

The Foodland at the Mauna Lani has a small but very good wine and liquor selection. They take care of their wine (unlike Costco), and while not cheap, it's not outrageous either. They also have a small but excellent meat and fish and produce selection. It's the only place on the island I can regularly find blood oranges. They also have the most extensive selection of high quality olive oils and pasta, as well as canned San marzano tomatoes, truffle oils, anchovies, and good chocolate. It's not cheap but it's all very well chosen.

haines, alaska
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8. Re: Liquor Store

Chrissy, you can look at the weekly ads for the mentioned grocery stores online......Looks to me like the prices at Foodland Farms are very reasonable......similar to prices here in Alaska.....our milk is $5.49 a gallon, though......sure hope it's not $9 in Hawaii......

San Carlos...
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9. Re: Liquor Store

Stop at Costco and save some bucks! We usually will pick up the Gin, wine, some cheese, chips, case of bottled water and munchies that will not spoil or will fit in the tiny refrigerator in our hotel. The Foodland at Mauna lani is good in a pinch, especially with the MK card. The only thing that is weird about Costco is that you think you are back home at your local one, very disorienting to me. As soon as I am in there I want to get out asap and start my vacation properly. If you are staying in a condo and plan on BBQ meat/fish then Costco is really advisable. We pack a soft shell insulated bag that doubles as both a cooler and a carry-on....

haines, alaska
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10. Re: Liquor Store

Costco is a religion to some folks......I compare prices and really cannot justify the annual membership fees as compared to any actual savings.......Bulk purchases for a week or two stay may end up with a lot of waste........