The combination of a captivating bottle and an unassuming liqueur with a complex flavor worthy of mixing with virtually anything make Ty KU a spirit worth noting, relishing and experimenting with.
On its debut, it was billed as both "The World's Only Sake Liqueur" and "The All Natural Asian Liqueur" due to its 20 odd botanicals and fruits and Asian production and inspiration. Yet, TY KU is not the result of years of costly corporate research, it is instead, the result of a graduate program assignment.
The Concept Behind Ty Ku
It was at Columbia University in 2003 that the team of Kirk Spahn and Trent Ulciny were posed with the assignment of creating a unique product and a plan to produce, market and make a business out of it. The two, studying for a Master of International Business and Marketing, came up with this healthy, sake-based liqueur with and literally eye-catching marketing idea they called TY KU.
The idea stemmed from a culmination of the young entrepreneurs' global travels and innovative marketing and business experiences. The result of their "grade A" work was a pale green liqueur filled with a bouquet of flowers and fruits inside a bottle that lights up when you pour.
The Making of Ty Ku
TY KU is produced in Japan using a junmai-ginjo sake and an Asian vodka (soju) for as a base.
Sake, often referred to as rice wine (an incorrect term because the rice is fermented multiple times similar to beer), is sulfite-free, meaning that all those nasty congeners that cause hangovers are non-existent, but that is only the beginning for this "healthy liqueur."
The blend of 20 plus ingredients used to flavor TY KU include some power-packed names among the health conscious: pomegranate (antioxidant), Asian pear (hangover remedy), honeydew, yuzu (twice Vitamin C of oranges), plum (Vitamin C), fuji apple (lowers LDL, increases HDL), white cranberry (antioxidant) and oolong (antioxidants).
The spirit is sweetened with elderflower syrup which reduces the sugar factor common among liqueurs and the effects of the aphrodisiacs ginseng and dragon's eye are thrown in as an added little bonus.
The Beautiful Ty Ku Bottle
Quite simply put, the bottle is really cool and it is the only bottle so far that self-illuminates when it is picked up. It makes quite a spectacular display in dim bars.
The lighting occurs when the button underneath the shiny silver base is pressed, causing the LED light inside to activate every time pressure is released from the base. Whenever the bottle is lifted to pour a shot or two the light turns on and the pale green liqueur is energized with a bright neon glow that is captivating and will have you playing with it a little at first.
The one drawback to the ergonomically designed bottle is the combination of the tight, all natural cork topped with the shiny silver triangle can be difficult to pull and can be hard to open at times. That said, the sweet nectar inside makes up for this small inconvenience.
Enjoy Ty Ku Liqueur
TY KU is a welcomed addition to liquor store shelves and back bars as much as Hpnotiq was (and remains to be) when it was released a few years prior. It is great shaken on its own or served on the rocks for a delightful, light citrus sipper.
Pair it up with soda or ginger ale with a lemon or lime to squeeze for a refreshing highball. Mix it with natural ingredients like freshly squeezed juices, flavored simple syrup or a new homemade infusion. TY KU is balanced enough to shine as a partner to any of your favorite spirits to produce some spectacular cocktails.