HONOLULU Staff’s Favorite Hawai‘i Products: The Green Witch Apothecary Shrubs
For this installment of local products you can buy online, in grocery stores or straight from the producer, we spotlight drinking vinegars from a small Kailua-based brand.
Photos: Katrina Valcourt
In the past few months, I’ve become obsessed with shrubs, aka drinking vinegar. They’re often used in cocktails but more recently I’ve been seeing them mixed with nothing but soda water for a refreshing and tart alternative to booze. Piggy Smalls had a great apple pie shrub, and at Russ & Daughters Café in New York I had a cherry shrub with white balsamic vinegar, Sichuan pepper and lime that was more intriguing and nuanced than anything else I drank in the city the week I was there.
I came across The Green Witch Apothecary by chance at the Mālama Hawai‘i Market at Koko Head Elementary in December. Among other remedies were these 8-ounce jars of herbal vinegars, which co-owner Caroline Gipple said could be used in drinks, marinades or sauces. I bought the Holy Bunches of Berries ($20 normally, but on sale for $10), made from locally grown holy basil, raw apple cider vinegar, pineapple and raspberries. A tablespoon (or two, if you like it stronger, which I do) with some ice and sparkling water is the perfect drink to cool you down on a hot day. I returned to the market this month to pick up another jar of it, plus one of the Plum Spice, made with raw apple cider vinegar, plums, cinnamon, cloves and cranberry hibiscus, and a mix of raw honey and organic ‘ōlena called Golden Bliss ($12 normally, on sale for $6). A tablespoon of that with some hot water makes a lovely nightcap, though I might try it on chicken, too.
Gipple and her sister, co-owner Karen Ellwanger, turned to plant medicine as a way to take healing into their own hands after both encountered serious health issues. Now they sell organic natural teas, herbal extracts and more.
Their online store is now set up. Plum Spice, Holy Bunches of Berries and Strawberry Fields (a little on the sweeter side) are $20 each before flat-rate shipping.