Review: Ty Ku Asian Citrus Liqueur

Review: Ty Ku Asian Citrus Liqueur

ty ku liqueurSurely you’ve seen Ty Ku on the shelf. The pale green liqueur in the obelisk of a bottle (some versions even light up when poured) stands out on any back bar. But… what is it?

Reportedly the end result of a student project at Columbia Business School, Ty Ku isn’t a Japanese spirit with an ancient pedigree. Rather, it dates back to, well, 2003 New York.

Ty Ku is at least produced in Japan, where it is made from sake and soju and infused with 20-some additives to create the finished product. The infusion menu is extreme, ranging from fruit (pomegranate, fuji apple, yuzu, honeydew, plum, Asian pear, and white cranberry, mangosteen, goji berry) to herbal flavors (various teas, ginseng, damiana, dragon’s eye). I’ve yet to see a complete list of what’s in it. Some even claim that Ty Ku is “healthy” — a curious claim for any spirit but, at just 40 proof, Ty Ku isn’t really that much more alcoholic than a glass of wine.

The flavor is indeed intriguing. Lightly sweet (elderflower syrup is the sweetener), it’s got strong citrus overtones, but nothing particularly identifiable as any of the above listed fruits. Apple, tart cranberry, perhaps the mangosteen are strongest here. And the tea comes across a bit more in the nose more than the body. All in all: Very good, and well balanced despite the flood of stuff in it.

Ty Ku goes down quite easy on the rocks — and it throws an interesting spin kick into cocktails that you might otherwise sweeten with sugar syrup or even St. Germain. I could actually go for a slightly bigger flavor than it packs, but overall Ty Ku is a winner.

40 proof.

A- / $28


Ty Ku Asian Citrus Liqueur




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  1. Beth Townshend on July 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Never tried it!

  2. Katie on July 28, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Ty Ku is actually really really good mixed with other liquors. My neighbor introduced me to Ty Ku and Patron and I’ve never had it with anything else ever since.

  3. Edoc on August 17, 2009 at 7:06 am

    I purchased a bottle over the weekend. My wife likes it quite a bit– it’s easy to make nice fruity drinks with it. I’m not much of a fan, though–Ty Ku has citrusy tart flavor, and the aftertaste is similar to eating a few SweetTart or Smartie candies.

  4. Jenna W. on February 4, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I’m going to have to disagree with Edoc. SweetTarts or Smarties aren’t a good interpretation of it. Its more like eating a lime-flavored candy but not as sweet. I personally can’t stand sweet gives me a headache. But the few times I had Ty-Ku it was almost refreshing. I mixed it with ginger ale.

  5. Samantha on February 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    What I like is that it’s so light. You can just drink it on the rocks or with a splash of club soda.

  6. Khloe on February 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    I love the fact that it’s so low in calories and mixes well with almost anything!! It has such a refreshing taste and in terms of other alcohol, is quite good for you.

  7. Michelle on March 22, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Ty.Ku has a very exotic taste which is quite good, I have always been a Hendrick,s Gin Girl. But this is a very nice refreshing change.

  8. DevinSears on January 3, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Love TY KU and love that it’s made w/healthy ingedients and low in calories. The bottle is amazing too!

  9. lynn on February 3, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! love this!

    LYNN <3

  10. Adey on February 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I was recently introduced to TY KU from my college roommate. Her favorite color is green,and when going to the liquor store she will pick out anything that looks pretty. Ive tried so many different types of alcohol thanks to her, but this one tops them all! We looked up some drinks made with TY KU and they have so many good drinks that are easy to make with regular household ingredients. There was no need to go on some ridiculous scavenger hunt just to try to make a drink. This may be my new favorite liqueur.

  11. Erin on February 14, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I love fruity drinks and i recently tried this now this is all i drink. it’s great with sprite and vodka i also love it with lime flavored seltzer. It’s so refreshing and light even when i mix it with soda like sprite. I cant wait to make cold drinks this summer at bbqs this would be perfect.

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