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#1. Maui in the Midwest 

Mixer: Devin Kidner, amateur

Ark of Taste Ingredient: Pawpaw

About Devin: I own an agriculture marketing company that supports local Midwestern farmers. I have always been passionate about food and agricultural issues, and for the past several years I have been working with local farmers to make sure their products are available to people who want to put a face to their food and know the story of its journey to the plate. In my free time I teach cooking classes with local ingredients and volunteer at Chicago’s Green City Market. My biggest love in life is playing with my (Midwestern) food!

Local Chapter: Slow Food Chicago


2 oz. Koval Vodka (made in small batches with organic grain sourced from local Midwestern farmers)
1 oz. Seedling Farm’s tart cherry apple cider
1 tsp. Ellis Farms raw, unfiltered honey
3/4 c. Oriana’s Orchard & Nursery’s seeded pawpaw flesh
1/2 c. ice cubes

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with two leaves of Smit’s Farms’ lemon balm. Serve chilled and relax on the “white sands” of Chicago’s beautiful beaches…

About the Ingredients

Every ingredient in this beachy, island-inspired drink is made from Midwestern ingredients. The tart cherry apple cider adds zing and complexity. Koval Vodka is certified organ and made in small batches with grain from local farmers. Raw honey lends a sweet hand while supporting local bees — and let’s not forget about the Ark of Taste pawpaws!

Pawpaws are the only member of a family of tropical trees that survived the ice age and adapted to the temperate zones of eastern North America. They have a mango-meets-banana flavor, with a floral hint of melon. It’s not just steeped in flavor; it’s steeped in history as the American Indian is credited with spreading the pawpaw across the eastern U.S. to eastern Kansas and Texas, and from the Great Lakes almost to the Gulf.

Read on for Part 2! For more Ark of Taste ingredients, check out the catalog.