Bacardi creates Tang the world’s first ‘tea spirit’
Bacardi has created what is thought to be the first spirit distilled from tea leaves, which will be exclusively distributed in China.
The drinks group has developed a “groundbreaking” process to release complex sugars from the green tea leaves, allowing them to be fermentable.
The mash is then distilled and blended to heighten certain flavours, before being diluted to 40% abv with French spring water in Cognac, France.
The result is Tang, a “bold and fragrant” spirit with a “smooth and bitter-sweet taste of tea”, which has been designed to complement Chinese food.
Tang will be produced in small batches of 2,000 bottles, with the first 500 individually numbered.
It is now initially available at DFS Hong Kong until May 2015, when distribution will extend to select partner restaurants in China.
Guillaume Dock, global R&D director for Bacardi, said the innovation was inspired by the Chinese Tang Dynasty, when the country developed a preference for tea.
“When we succeeded in creating Tang, it made sense to us that China be the first in the world to experience it,” he said.
“With green tea forming the cornerstone of Tang, we believe we have created a truly unique product that tastes entirely new yet inspires a nostalgic familiarity that will intrigue the most discerning Chinese palate.”
The spirit is desined to be drunk neat alongside Chinese food, as well as mixed into cocktails.
Matt Djokovic, innovation director for Bacardi in Asia Pacific, added: “Today, the types of spirits that can be enjoyed with food are fairly limited. Hence, we hope Tang can represent an additional spirit option to enjoy during Chinese meals.
“We believe Tang is poised to deliver a contemporary drink experience that will satisfy our consumers’ appetite for new and refined experiences in dining and other occasions.”
Tang will carry a retail price of HK$1888 (US$250) for a 500ml bottle.