Viet vodka hits U.S. mainland

The debut of a new vodka no longer is news. Its "angle" might be.

Take Kai. As part of its Aug. 1 launch in the California market, after previous sales in Hawaii, publicists are hyping the fact that the Vietnamese product is made from a rare Asian rice and one of its versions is lychee flavored.

Now, that's an angle.

"We wanted to introduce Kai to a hip and diverse market," said company founder Marcus Bender. "California encompasses the spirit of the word Kai, which means 'sea' in Hawaiian, 'pleasure' in Japan and 'happy gathering' in China. Because California is a melting pot of many ethnic restaurants, bars and clubs, we believe Californians will embrace the personality and uniqueness of Kai Vodka. The vast market here enables us to penetrate a crowded field and provide Californian consumers with a unique option."

The basic Kai vodka is made from yellow blossom rice grown exclusively along the Red River Delta in Vietnam. The lychee-flavored version takes advantage of the sweet flavor of the fruit, with hints of orange blossom, roses and spice.

Southern Wine & Spirits is handling the distribution.

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Anonymous said...

I LOVE this vodka. I tried both the Pure and the Lychee. The pure has a sweet finish to it and the lychee is amazing. I had first tried it in hawaii this summer and just found it in California where I live.

William M. Dowd said...

As noted above, Kai went on sale in California on Aug. 1. Considering its positive reception there and in Hawaii, it's likely broader distribution will be in the short-range future.