Kai Lychee

  • Rating: 9
  • Value: 9
Type: ,
Proof: 70 (35%)
Age: Not applicable
Price: $30.00 750 ml)
Price Range:

One of the few flavored vodkas worth the money they are asking.

Notes: From the same company that makes Kai Vodka This one being their Lychee flavored version. For the sake of clarity; this is flavored with lychee, not made directly from, infused, or macerated the lychee flavor is added to the vodka. This vodka is produced in northern Vietnam in the Red River Delta from a naturally sweet and glutinous rice called yellow blossom rice. This makes it gluten free for people who are Celiacs or otherwise wheat intolerant.

Based on a 600 year-old recipe from a woman master distiller, they use selected rice and water drawn from a 1500 ft. deep artesian well and is distilled only three times once in a pot still then twice in a column still – for vodka this is a low number of distillations (especially if one factors in 1 initial distillation by pot still ).This allows for much more flavor and body- it is not distilled to death and retains a lot of character. It takes about three pounds of rice to make a bottle of this vodka.

Appearance: Crystal clear, no sediment whatsoever. Somewhat heavier body and appearance than regular. Limpid shining pool of vodka. On swirling, it leaves a thin clear coat on the inside of the glass with long thin legs slowly forming and leaving droplets on the side of the glass. Wonderful bright appearance and almost a heft or weight to the body of this spirit.

First Impression: It takes about 30 seconds or so for the lychee smell to fully aromatize but after that you are in for a treat. A sweet cross between a melon and a citrus in smell, with flowery notes, plump, ripe, almost creamy texture to the smell. A lovely fruit and flowers smell. No trace of off-notes, or the smell of rubbing alcohol that many other vodkas suffer from.

Taste: Thick almost glycerin like body nipping at it with the alcohol edge and nice lingering finish. Luscious fruit notes. A body that cheaper vodkas strive for by doping with sugar, glycerin, or vanilla but this vodka comes by it honestly through the use of glutinous rice.

Drinks: Very nice at room temperature (try your vodka warm) which is always a good sign. Think of it as a outstanding alternative to Midori. Lots of oriental fruit and some spiciness to play with. It can add some delicate subtleties and texture to your drink.

*Use Noilly Prat and  keep the vermouth refrigerated after opening for the best taste.

Bottle: Attractive clear glass decanter with a narrow waist . Rectangular box of textured glass with the word “Kai” in the center (which means different positive things in 3 different languages) other information silkscreened directly on glass. Distinguished from straight Kai vodka by being marked “Lychee” on neck ribbon and below rectangular box. Nice balance and easy to grip and pour.

Final Thoughts: One flavored vodka that I can see paying over $25 for. Cheaper and much better quality than a number of the high end vodkas and infinitely better than the low end flavored vodka out ther for only a few dollars more. Also being made from rice it is a great vodka for the wheat averse.


Flash heavy and slow loading, not particularly informative, but does have some drink recipes.

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