At many wine expos, there are often a few non-wine alcohols available as well, though often with some type of wine connection. One such mysterious example at UNLVino was Ty Ku, an intriguing new liquer. It ia partially mysterious as the marketing appears directed to that end. For example, they do not provide you a full list of the ingredients in Ty Ku. Plus, some of the links on their website, especially the FAQ and Media Sheet, do not work. Thus, there is not a lot of concrete information about the product.
It is a green-colored liquer that comes in a frosted, pyramidal bottle. The bottle also glows when you pick it up. So it is going to look interesting at a partially darkened bar when the bottle's light goes on. The liquer is a blend of about twenty different ingredients, allegedly all natural. Two of the ingredients are Saké and Vodka, though the liquer is only 40 proof. It is said that this may be the first Saké liquer.
Of the other known ingredients, they include such items as yuzu, pomegranate, prickly pear, oolong tea, green tea, honeydew and plum. Plus, it includes ginseng, damiana and dragon's eye, all of which are so-called natural aphrodisiacs. Damiana is a shrub native to Central and South America and its leaves are thought to be an aphrodisiac. Dragon's eye, also known as longans, is a fruit that also is an alleged aphrodisiac. There are around 6-7 ingredients which are unknown. I should also mention that Ty Ku is supposed to be low in calories, unlike some of the more sugary liquers on the market.
I tasted the Ty Ku straight, to find out its flavors as a stand alone. First, it definitely was not cloying sweet. There were more of a hint of sweetness and it felt more natural, more like the sweetness of good fruit. The liquer had an intriguing blend of fruit flavors, both exotic and familiar. I got a lot of melon and pear flavors, as well as touches of other herbal flavors. It presents more of a tropical taste and I did enjoy it. Though it probably would do best in cocktails rather than just straight. I cannot vouch for its alleged aphrodisiacs though.
Their website presents plenty of cocktail recipes for the Ty Ku. It certainly seems versatile enough to mix with most anything. And it probably makes some good summertime cocktails. I think it is a very different liquer and I would recommend it.
Ty Ku sells for around $30-35 for a 750 ml bottle. I am sure the glowing bottle contributes to a decent portion of its price. I don't think that was necessary as the Ty Ku could stand on its own as a good liquer. But gimmicks sometimes help sell products. Ty Ku is currently available in New York, Nevada, and the Virgin Islands though it will soon be available in other markets as well.