Mothaiba pandan vodka infuses your martini with Asian botanicals

Mothaiba is a new pandan vodka – made with pandan leaves from Vietnam – for the perfect martini to toast good fortune in the Year of the Wood Dragon

Mothaiba pandan vodka
(Image credit: Joanne Yee)

Mothaiba pandan vodka may answer your craving for the perfect crisp vodka martini – ideal to toast good fortune, wisdom and success in the upcoming Year of the Wood Dragon (also see Lunar New Year accessories for your celebration). Mothaiba’s founder Liliane Nguyan, a Vietnam-born former interior designer, had just such a craving when she was inspired to craft a flavourful spirit for ‘adventurous and inquisitive drinkers’. 

The inspiration came from UK-based Nguyen pining for nostalgic comforts. ‘I missed the flavours I grew up with in childhood, but I only ever saw them showcased in traditional forms, such as confectionery,’ says Nguyen. ’I wanted to reinterpret those flavours but in a more grown-up fashion, a refined spirit. And I wanted a martini.’

Mothaiba pandan vodka for a martini with a twist

Mothaiba pandan vodka bottles lined up

(Image credit: Joanne Yee)

Nguyen used British grain vodka redistilled by a small family distiller using fresh pandan leaves imported from Vietnam. The result is a neatly packaged, fine-tuned spirit that flirts with the taste buds.

Ice cubes with herbs and leaves frozen

(Image credit: Joanne Yee)

Mothaiba – named after the expression ‘Mot Hai Ba!’ that people exclaim before a toast in Vietnam – is also infused with makrut lime leaves, lime zest and ginger to create a crisp and refreshing flavour.

Mothaiba back of the bottle

(Image credit: Joanne Yee)

Nguyen notes, ‘Although it is distilled with four botanicals, the main focus of the vodka is pandan. On the nose, it has a very earthy, biscuit-y note, with a strong fresh pandan smell. The citrus leaves and zest help to give the flavour profile a lift but aren't heavy enough to overshadow the pandan.’

As well as making a fine martini, Mothaiba is versatile and adaptable for an anytime summery spritz coupled with the tart flavours of a pomelo, poured over ice. ‘Get playful and make yourself a tropical cocktail in the middle of winter, and stick a paper umbrella in it, if that's your thing,’ says Nguyen.

Tianna Williams is the Editorial Executive at Wallpaper*. Before joining the team in 2023, she has contributed to BBC Wales, SurfGirl Magazine, and Parisian Vibe, with work spanning from social media content creation to editorial. Now, her role covers writing across varying content pillars for Wallpaper*.