Lunar, the first-ever Asian craft hard seltzer brand, has launched the second in its series of limited-edition collaborations with iconic Asian restaurants in New York City to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
For the Heritage Line: Sunset Edition, Lunar co-founders Sean Ro and Kevin Wong worked closely with Michelin star-awarded Jeju Noodle Bar, James Beard semifinalist Win Son and Cantonese cuisine newcomer Bonnie’s to develop three hard seltzers inspired by the atmosphere of an Asian beachside market.
The Heritage Line is a testament to the brand’s mission to represent the AAPI community and diaspora — especially in New York City, where co-founders Ro and Wong were born and raised.
“As a homegrown NYC brand, we’re incredibly honored to once again work with local AAPI business owners who’ve inspired us tremendously: Douglas Kim of Jeju Noodle Bar, Josh Ku of Win Son and Calvin Eng of Bonnie’s,” said Lunar co-founder Sean Ro. “Not only did these three bring years of culinary expertise to the table, they also channeled their own personal memories and their own individual Asian American experiences into these first-of-their-kind seltzers.”
As with Lunar’s core line of Korean Plum, Yuzu, Passion Fruit and Lychee seltzers, all Heritage Line seltzers are made with real ingredients sourced from Asia and the US. Created specifically with upcoming summer drinking in mind, the Heritage Line: Sunset Edition seltzers include:
- Mint Omija w/ Jeju Noodle Bar: Inspired by the summertime Korean delicacy 오미자 화채 (Magnolia berry or schisandra berry punch), the mint highlights flavors provided by the omija, also known as the “five flavor berry” (sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness and even spiciness). It pairs well with the flavors of Chef Douglas Kim, who runs the first noodle bar in the US to receive a Michelin star.
- Teresa Teng (Citrus, Cranberry) w/ Win Son: Inspired by the first true international Asian music superstar, this blend of cucumber and spice is as more-ish as her music catalog. “Asia’s eternal queen of pop” died in 1995 after a 30-year career that deeply influenced most of Asia. Josh Ku, Taiwanese-American owner of Win Son, named one of the restaurant’s inaugural cocktails after her. Lunar has built upon the tributary cocktail with this honorary hard seltzer flavor. The crisp, citrusy cranberry-flavors blend with a touch of smoky complexity.
- Salted Kumquat w/ Bonnie’s: An answer to the everyday orange juice mimosa, this flavor was inspired by a traditional Chinese American remedy — kumquats preserved in salt and sugar, then steeped into a hot tea to ease a sore throat. This cocktail is a sweet, tangy, citrusy sipper with a hint of salt and MSG for added depth. The flavor pays homage to the preserved kumquat fridge staple of Cantonese American chef Calvin Eng’s mother — for whom his restaurant is named.
The mission behind Lunar’s cocktails is to increase cultural awareness and representation within the predominantly white brewing and seltzer segment. Through the Heritage Line, they continue to share the stories and lived experiences of their AAPI partners.
“Sean and I are just two Asian kids from New York, but we have big dreams beyond just selling beverages,” Lunar co-founder Kevin Wong says. “We created Lunar to make the beverage world more open-minded and diverse. In many ways, our own journey as POC founders and entrepreneurs is a microcosm for the larger AAPI experience of learning to find pride in your culture so that you can share it with the world — and in doing so, make the world a better, more understanding place.”
Lunar’s Heritage Line is now available for nationwide shipping via their website, and individual flavors will be available at their respective restaurants.