In February 2004, Pacifikool was registered as a catering business in Hawaii. In April of that same year, Pacifikool got a huge break when it was accepted as a vendor at the very popular KCC farmers market near Diamond Head on Oahu.
Included in the menu of “Food for the Adventurous Palate”, the Island Ginger Ale drew a lot of attention. It was surprising how many people loved ginger and how much attention this ‘zingy’ cold ginger beverage drew. Often after the first sip customers would exclaim “Wow, that’s Kool”.
As the fans grew so did the requests to bottle the ginger syup. By 2006 the business was all about ginger drinks and two kinds of bottled ginger syrup. It pays to listen to your customers.
Hawaiian ‘yellow’ ginger is purchased from farmers on the Island of Hawaii locally known as the Big Island. Most of the ginger is grown along the Hamakua Coast north of Hilo town. Thai ‘blue’ ginger (Galangal) is grown and purchased from a farm in central Oahu.
In the early 80's there were more than 200 ginger farmers, but that has dwindled to about 60. It's hard work being a farmer and additionally, ginger farmers have to deal with competition from cheap Chinese ginger, pests like nematodes and banana moths, and the devastating soil-borne plant disease known as bacterial wilt. Once infested, that land is no longer available for replanting. (http://cms.ctahr.hawaii.edu/gingerwilt/Home.aspx) Farmers have limited resources to acquire virgin land free of disease every 3 or so years which makes ginger farming unattractive to old and new farmers.
Pacifikool produces ginger syrup made from two very different kinds of ginger: Hawaiian ‘yellow’ ginger and Thai ‘blue’ ginger (Galangal).
Hawaiian ‘yellow’ ginger is the spicy ginger most people are familiar with…gingerbread, ginger ale, teriyaki sauce. Pacifikool’s Island Ginger Ale is made from the Hawaiian Ginger Syrup that is made from 100% fresh local ginger…no added powders, flavorings or preservatives.
Thai ‘blue’ ginger (Galangal) which is the predominant ginger used in Thai cooking is incredibly perfumed and has a slightly piney taste. For those who have tasted or made the delicious Thai coconut soup Tom Kai Gha, the soup is loaded with slices of galangal. Thai ginger when processed does not retain the familiar spiciness of Hawaiian ginger, but when tasted raw it is very hot/spicy on the palate. Thai ginger goes well with fruity drinks such as Pacifikool’s Berries and Ginger or the Thai Gingerade. This ginger syrup is also made from 100% fresh ginger with no added powders, flavorings or preservatives.
At the start of 2015, Pacifikool switched to using Maui Brand Natural Evaporated Cane Juice, which unlike refined sugar, is minimally processed and retains in the crystals a hint of the natural molasses. The ginger syrups are now 100% Hawaii ingredients.
Pacifikool sells made to order ginger drinks at local farmers markets. There’s a collection of 16 drinks that are featured in rotation each week. Best known is the Island Ginger Ale and the Gingercooler. All available locally grown fruits and herbs are used for the drinks. Pacifikool is committed to supporting local farmers and promoting the “Eat fresh, Eat Local” movement in Hawaii.
Pacifikool drinks are available only at various farmers markets. The ginger syrups are available in retail stores in the Honolulu area. Wholesale orders within the state of Hawaii can be made through a local distributor. Pacifikool will ship retail orders to the Mainland. For more information go to the “Where to Buy” link for local stores and “Online Orders” link for Mainland orders.