Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ZEN Green Tea Liqueur

I'm doing research for a new article on tea cocktails, and I can't help but notice how much attention ZEN green tea liqueur is getting. From ZEN's makers:

"As cultural influences from Asia continue to influence Western palates and the cocktail culture expands to include exotic herbs and interesting new flavors, a distinctive, new spirit is making its mark. ZEN™ Green Tea Liqueur, a unique blend of the finest Japanese green tea leaves, premium herbs and natural flavors is the first super-premium green tea liqueur ever introduced in America.

The fresh and original taste of ZEN Green Tea Liqueur, which is primarily derived from the ceremonial Japanese Green Tea, results from the use of the finest ingredients available. The perfection of the final product is the result of time-honored Japanese traditions of quality and craftsmanship combined with a modern sense of elegance and style."

Sounds great, right? The thing is... it's just OK-ish. I think it's overly sweet and not that flavorful. Actually, I talked with one of their reps at a show and he said the Japanese version is less sweet, which was somewhat of a relief. Have you tried it? What do you think?

If you want to make your own green tea liqueur, check out this tea liqueur recipe I posted a while back. It's very easy and you can customize it to your own tea type and sweetness preferences.


Sc'Eric said...

This may be difficult to believe, but Zen actually loses its sweetness a bit when you mix it with other liqueurs of similar sweetness. Can't think of a good example right now though...

But in the meantime, try a Zen Sake-tini:

~ 2.0 Gekkeikan Traditional sake
~ 0.75 Zen green tea liqueur
~ 0.5 Stoli Citros vodka
~ 0.5 Hangar-One Buddhas Hand vodka
~ (opt) Matcha green tea powder--just enough to cover the tip of the thin end of a barspoon or wooden chopstick

Shake. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish w/ lemon twist.

VeeTea said...

Thanks for the recipe, Sc'Eric! Hangar One makes some great vodkas. If you think of a recipe for dropping out some of the sweetness, I'd love to hear about it!