Glow in the dark. That’s all I needed to hear; I was sold on buying a bottle of Ty ku; after all, Halloween was on the rise. A friend who works at Dartmouth told me about it because an alumnus created it (incidentally while he was a grad student at Columbia).
[Halloween? Why are you writing this in January?]
It didn’t glow.
I knew it had to glow because aforementioned friend had actually tried it. His family has a wonderful tradition of drinking cordials. It took me a few minutes, er, a week, to realize that there is a button on the bottom of the bottle and that the bottle lights up when you are holding and/or pouring it. The liqueur itself does not glow in the dark. Upon further reflection, I think this is a good thing unless you’re up for some sort of medical screening procedure.
So if you want to feel like you’re at a bar or a nightclub, this bottle is for you. In their own words: TY KU Premium Liqueur is a true showstopper as it is presented in the world’s only illuminating bottle™ and actually lights up when it is poured!”
Enough about the bottle. “Serve cold.” So I poured a few chilled tastes and we experienced the citrus-exotic fruit drink. It was soft, citrus, and refreshing like Fresca complete with an artificial sweetener aftertaste. And since this drink is geared towards people much younger, Tu ku’s next biggest marketing feature is its caloric content.
The Ty ku site describes it as:
“The perfect blend of traditional Asian spirits with delicious superfruits and teas. TY KU Premium Liqueur combines soft citrus, fresh melon with the balance of teas and botanicals, added to the subtle structure of premium Asian spirits. The delicately blended taste finishes with a hint of ginger. The drink is versatile, ideal alone or as the main ingredient in today’s resurgence of crafted cocktails.”
In order to try Ty ku in a cocktail, I felt inspired to try it as a cucumber mojito base since my favorite Nepalese restaurant made fabulous saki-based cucumber coolers and mojitos before they had a liquor license.
When I first discovered mojitos I actually created a mojito matrix to map the variations. Never happy with one recipe, I used two recipes and added muddled cucumber:
1. Mojito 1
They were delicious but until the ice melted and my palate deteriorated, I was still plagued by the aftertaste of the Ty ku. I recommend Eben Freeman’s recipe—I liked his use of superfine sugar instead of simple syrup.
Given its price and the short lifespan of a bottle, I recommend a nice bottle of port or sherry instead.
$29.99 at the NH State Liquor Store