Just in time for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Lunar is launching its new “Heritage” line of hard seltzers. The new collection is dedicated to exploring deeply authentic flavors that pay tribute to well-known Asian foods and are co-developed with New York-based chefs and owners of popular local restaurants, Di An Di and 886, and designer/illustrator Vanessa Nguyen.
Founded in 2020, the New York-based company started with its main line of craft seltzers featuring real yuzu juice, lychee, and maesil plum syrup sourced from Asia. After gaining a cult following and finding its way on various menus in New York, the team was inspired and driven to explore even deeper into its heritage and continued to find ways to share more delicious yet meaningful Asian flavors that push the boundary of what can be done with hard seltzers and ready-to-drinks (RTDs).
The new limited-edition Lunar Heritage line includes three flavors never seen before in their categories:
- Tamarind & Rice Paddy Herb: Co-developed with first-generation Vietnamese American owners Kim Hoang and Tuan Bui of Di An Di, this flavor is inspired by the Vietnamese sweet and sour soup canh chua, or cá nấu. Using fresh Vietnamese rice paddy herb, or ngo om, sourced locally in New York and natural tamarind paste from India, this flavor is bright and tart while leaving beverage lovers with a tea-like finish.
- Pineapple Cake: This flavor was co-developed with owners Eric Sze and Andy Chuang of Taiwanese American restaurant 886 and is the first seltzer to feature MSG, sourced from Ajinomoto, as an ingredient. This flavor is inspired by Taiwan’s most popular delicacy, the pineapple cake, or feng li su 鳳梨酥. Crafted to emulate the structure of the pastry, freshly-baked shortbread aromas bubble up the moment you open the can, followed by a long, crisp tartness brought to you by the pineapple juice. A hint of salt and the MSG’s iconic umami appear at the end of the sip to round out the flavor and complete the pineapple cake experience.
- Mango & Chili Salt: Drawing upon co-founder Kevin Wong’s trips to Thailand and Vietnamese American artist Vanessa Nguyen’s memories of home, this flavor is reminiscent of the streets of Southeast Asia where fruit cart operators serve up fresh green mangoes dipped in chili pepper, salt, and sugar. This tropical flavor uses organic mango puree from the USA and organic red chili peppers grown in Thailand. The result is a sweet, yet sour mango body accented by a hint of saltiness and a slight heat brought on by the chili peppers.
“Our mission is to authentically share the flavors and experiences of our community,” said Kevin Wong, co-founder of Lunar. “In light of recent events, we wanted to take it a step further with flavors traditionally deemed as ‘exotic’ and unfamiliar by the Western world but to us are nostalgic and representative of our upbringing and heritage.”
“The hope is that by introducing these hard-to-find yet uniquely emblematic flavors in a modern and approachable format, we can help consumers new to these flavors experience some of our favorite parts of our culture and hopefully develop a respect and appreciation for them,” said Sean Ro, co-founder of Lunar.
The Lunar Heritage line is now available in New York at both Di An Di and 886 restaurants and is available for pre-order in 32 U.S. states online on Lunar’s website. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the chefs who created the recipes and Apex For Youth.