Sunday, December 14

KAI Vodka

There is a new ultra-premium vodka that has recently made its way from Vietnam into my hands called KAI Vodka. Unlike European vodkas, which are crafted from wheat, rye, or potatoes, KAI is distilled from rice. The rice used in KAI Vodka is of the rare yellow-blossom variety that grows only in the Red River Delta of northern Vietnam, the so-called “Napa Valley of rice.” This rice-based beverage is not sake because although both are rice based, sake is brewed, while vodka is distilled. This delicate grain imparts a much smoother, sweeter flavor.

Who knew, but Vietnam has an ancient tradition of making vodka, a Vietnamese woman created the recipe from which KAI is derived 600 years ago, adding to the brand’s mystique.

Here are some cocktail recipes using KAI’s two flavors, Original and Lychee flavor.

Japanese Tea Garden
1.5 parts Kai vodka
0.75 parts lemon juice
0.5 parts simple syrup
6 Basil leaves
2 parts Fresh Apple Juice

Method: Muddle basil, lemon, and simple syrup, add ice, vodka, and apple juice. Shake and strain over fresh ice or roll all ingredients into a tall glass.

Garnish: basil

Basil Gimlet
1.5 parts Kai vodka
1 part lime juice
0.75 parts simple syrup
4-6 basil leaves

Method: Muddle Basil in lime juice and simple syrup, add ice and vodka and fine strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish: lime wheel or basil leaf

Kai Pear Bellini
0.75 parts Kai
0.75 parts Kai Lychee
0.5 parts lime juice
0.5 parts simple syrup
0.5 parts pear puree
Float of Prosecco

Method: In a mixing glass add all ingredients except Prosecco with ice. Shake and strain into a Flute.

Garnish: Orange twist

Kai Vodka is currently available in major retail outlets, restaurants, and hotels in Hawaii, California, Arizona, and Nevada. KAI is currently expanding to Florida, Illinois, Georgia, New Mexico, and other markets across the country in the coming months and in 2009 including Texas and New York.

(source KAI Vodka press release)