Taiwanese legislators have been led by Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) in holding tasting events to promote the sale of Lithuanian rum, as the first batch has arrived.
State-run Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp (TTL) first delivered some of the Propeller brand dark rum made by the Lithuania-based MV Group Production to the Legislative Yuan so that You could hold tasting events for officials and the media.
TTL has said that the rum is to be sold from Tuesday next week, in time for the Lunar New Year.
“Lithuania is not afraid to stand up to China’s threats and show strong support for Taiwan, after Beijing used its ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy with economic sanctions to bully several democratic nations,” You said.
“Because we are so touched by Lithuania’s determination to protect freedom and democracy, our lawmakers will take concrete action to support Lithuania,” he added.
You said that in his role as legislative speaker, he ordered the first batch of rum from TTL to show that Taiwanese “are in solidarity with Lithuania, standing united in our effort to fight China’s bullying and authoritarian ways.”
At tasting events on Tuesday and yesterday, You called the Propeller dark rum “Democracy Rum.”
You’s staff mixed sips of the rum with lemon juice and cola — as “rum punch” — in small plastic cups to show the nation one of the popular ways that Democracy Rum can be enjoyed with family and friends during the holiday.
Members of the media who tasted the rum punch said that it has a pleasant, sweet taste, and went down smoothly.
TTL officials said that they were notified on Dec. 18 by the Ministry of Finance and Representative to Lithuania Eric Huang (黃鈞耀) that a batch of Lithuanian rum scheduled to arrive in China on Dec. 29 could face hurdles with customs because China had reportedly in November removed Lithuania from its list of origin nations, virtually blocking any cargo from Lithuania from entering the nation.
The company purchased the whole shipment of 20,400 bottles as a show of support for the Baltic nation, which faced increasing political and economic pressure from Beijing to punish it after it allowed Taipei to open the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania in Vilnius in November.
TTL Chairman Ting Yen-che (丁彥哲) said that the first 6,000 bottles have been priced at NT$600 apiece and would be placed in the company’s outlets across the nation and at some TTL-authorized sellers from Tuesday next week.
FamilyMart would also start preorder sales, TTL said.
Additional reporting with CNA
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