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- Tim, Industry professional, White Lion VSOA (WhiteLionVSOA.com/), Woodland Hills, CA
Nineteen years ago, I was fortunate enough to marry a beautiful woman from Sri Lanka. It was during our first dinner with extended family, that her uncle offered me a drink of Sri Lanka’s storied coconut arrack. The uncle told me the story of a 2800 year old spirit, distilled from a single ingredient – the naturally-fermented nectar of the coconut flower.
Like so many tourists to Sri Lanka, I was instantly hooked. At the end of our trip, I returned with several bottles to serve at our own dinner parties. Friends raved about the taste and our bottles soon ran dry. My wife began asking friends and family to bring more bottles back from their own visits to Sri Lanka, but many had already promised bottles for their own families and friends. Clearly this was a spirit that captured the interest of drinkers everywhere.
Two years ago I returned to Sri Lanka to learn there was virtually no export of coconut arrack to other countries. This was the turning point for me. We quickly extended our trip to research all of the distillers and brands of arrack available in Sri Lanka. After speaking with several distillers and touring their facilities, we purchased nearly 20 bottles of every brand and variation available to taste-test with friends, family and fellow tourists. VSOA was chosen time and time again.
I returned from Sri Lanka with VSOA to share my new found passion with everyone else. This product truly means something to me. Every year in the US, nearly 400 new alcohols are introduced -- you could literally buy a new brand every day. But do you really need a cake-flavored vodka or fruit-flavored liqueur to mix really great cocktails?