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TYKU Sake & Spirits
Privately held
Founded2004 (2004)
HeadquartersNew York, New York
ProductsSake and spirits

TYKU /tk/ is an American alcoholic beverage company that specializes in sake and other spirits. The privately held company was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in New York City, New York. While based in New York, TYKU's beverages are made in Japan through a joint venture with two sake breweries.[1] Since 2011, TYKU's growth has extended its products into all 50 states.


While working on a graduate school project together at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University in 2003, co-founders Kirk Spahn and Trenton Ulicny were inspired as athletes to create a health-conscious drink that would allow them to indulge while still maintaining their bodies. With the encouragement of their professor, the two marketed their idea and the company was then founded in 2004.

The inspiration to target Asian wines and spirits came when Spahn, as a history major at Dartmouth College, learned the importance of drinking traditions in Asian culture as he sampled Sake in China, Tibet, and Japan, as part of a program with the New York Museum of Natural History. With that, the two bootstrapped it at the start and spent 4 years flying back and forth to Asia for research. Since its inception, the company has made it a goal to educate American consumers on Japanese sake and spirits using social media initiatives and a branded presence at popular youth-driven events such as South by Southwest.


Name Type Description
TYKU Sake White Junmai Polished to 70%, Akebono Rice
TYKU Sake Black Junmai Ginjo Polished to 55%, Yamada-Nishiki & Akebono Rice
TYKU Sake Platinum Junmai Daiginjo Polished to 45%, Yamada-Nishiki Rice
TYKU Sake Benihana Tokubetsu Junmai Polished to 70%, Akebono Rice
TYKU Coconut Sake Infused Nigori Polished to 70%, Akebono Rice
TYKU Cucumber Sake Infused Junmai Polished to 70%, Akebono Rice
TYKU Soju Premium TYKU Soju: 60 calories
TYKU Citrus Liqueur Premium TYKU Citrus: 65 calories - First product


Award Product Awarding Body Year
Double Gold Medal TYKU Soju WSWA Tasting Competition 2012
Double Gold Medal TYKU Platinum Junmai Daiginjo Sake S.F. Int'l Wine Competition 2010
Platinum Medal TYKU White Junmai Sake World Wine Competition 2010
Gold Medal TYKY Citrus Liqueur L.A. Int'l Spirits Competition -

Celebrity partnerships[edit]

TYKU currently has a number of celebrity investors that the company has announced. In October 2010, the company announced Perez Hilton as investor and equity partner. In addition, Hilton took on the role of Director of Culture and Trends.[2] TYKU also announced in March 2012 Patti Stanger, as an owner and partner. Stanger is also a part of TYKU's day-to-day business, working to extend the brand's exposure.

Other investors include Ne-Yo, Todd English, Brian Vickers and Dhani Jones.[2] In April 2012 Cee Lo Green became an owner and spokesperson for the brand.[3]