Japanese culture has long been associated with harmony in nature. From the misunderstood intricacies of flower arrangements to the most delicate and contemplative snip of a bonsai tree, Suntory ambitiously introduces this concept to the Western culture’s most beloved spirit: vodka. Just released to the U.S. market, Ao Vodka is a premium vodka distilled from Japanese rice and fittingly takes its name from the Japanese word for blue, or shades of green found in nature. Landscapes of rice paddies are poetically called ao for their mingling of blue and green. The thought itself seems to provoke a zen state, and one we want to stay in forever- especially amid the cacophony of booze marketing. Made from 100% Japanese rice and water sourced from the island of Kyushu, Ao Vodka aspires to bring back the often-overlooked luxury of nuance, and therefore should be sipped neat, with a simple, Japanese-inspired garnish. Priced in the premium category, Ao teaches us that less can be more and subtlety is indeed significant. A lesson most of us could benefit from. Currently available in the New York market and online at Bowery & Vine and Crush Wine & Spirits.