Taiwan liquors shine at Spirits Selection

•Publication Date:06/11/2014
•Source: Taiwan Today

Taiwan liquors bagged a gold and silver medal at the recently concluded Spirits Selection in Florianopolis, Brazil, continuing the nation’s strong showing at international competitions over the past 12 months.

Litchi Mead, made from lychees and honey, claimed gold in the liqueur category, while iPure Oolong Tea Liquor took silver. Both products were praised for their high-quality ingredients and attention to production values.

Distilled by Wufeng District Farmers’ Association in Taichung City, central Taiwan, Litchi Mead is part of an ROC Council of Agriculture project aimed at promoting local produce. The golden performance continues the success of Wufeng, which won two silvers for its Shochu Rice Spirit and Pure Sake at Germany-based International Spirits Award competition last month.

Litchi Mead creator Chen Chien-hao—an assistant professor at National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism—said Taiwan-made liquor is beginning to win international recognition as a result of the country’s top-notch produce and the commitment of farmers to excellence.

“Medals are an essential marketing tool in Taiwan, as in the rest of Asia,” Chen said. “The honors show that efforts by local liquor producers to break into the global market are paying dividends.”

Chen is also the creator of Putao, a golden muscat dessert wine awarded a gold medal at Paris-based Vinalies Internationales wine competition in March.

Silver medalist iPure Oolong Tea Liquor, distilled by New Taipei City-based Ume Enterprise Co. Ltd., is made with fruit and oolong tea grown in the vicinity Alishan in southern Taiwan.

Chen Shy-tzy, a manager with Ume Enterprise, said the greatest challenge in producing the beverage is to find a base liquor that will not overpower the distinctive fragrance of oolong tea.

“Of course, the special yeast produced by the beverage’s creator Tsai Chen-ho is a key component of the drink’s popularity with consumers and judges.”

Ume Enterprise also claimed gold with a plum liquor at the same event held in Kaohsiung City last year.