Akashi-Tai Ginjo Yuzushu

A citrus explosion

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If you love a sharp citrus bite, maybe even like to suck the occasional lemon, you will love this Japanese aperitif.  It is to limoncello what homemade marmalade is to a Continental orange jam.  The citrus flavours explode in your mouth; a mix of grapefruit, lemon and orange, peel and all.  Served well chilled on the rocks it is a light 12% aperitif, and is sufficiently punchy that you can easily add a little fizzy water to make it a little longer.

Let me help you decode the label.  Akashi is the maker – a well regarded Japanese brewer who prides itself on sticking to traditional craft methods and using the best possible ingredients.  Yes a brewer, but don’t think beer.  The underlying alcohol here comes from sake, and that is usually described as being brewed from rice.  The “Ginjo” in the name tells you that this is a premium sake.  Lastly “Yuzushu” – this is the key word.  Yuzu are a sweet and sour citrus fruit that resembles a knobbly grapefruit.  These are pressed then macerated in the sake and a little sugar is added to balance the acidity.  The result is this hugely refreshing and tasty drink, with a lowish 10% ABV (sake is typically around 15%).

I am bowled over by this taste sensation.  Delightful as an aperitif or a digestif, famous as an ingredient in exciting cocktails and sometimes even served to accompany Chinese food, I urge you to give it a try.  But some may find it so punchy that just one glass will suffice.

Makers Notes

Our Akashi-Tai Yuzu liqueur uses an exceptionally high quantity of fresh yuzu from the Hyogo prefecture, which is pressed on arrival to preserve the clear aroma of the rare citrus fruit highly prized in Japan. It offers a touch of originality to the most refined cocktails and can be drunk neat or on ice as an aperitif or after dinner.
Supple and fruity, with refreshing aromas of grapefruit, it offers intense citrusy flavours and a sweetness that is perfectly balanced by the tanginess of the yuzu. The finale is invigoratingly cooling and aromatic.

Tasting Notes

  • Colour: Lemon
  • Taste: Grapefruit, lemon and orange, with the peel
  • Body: Pressed juice, well balanced acidity and sweetness
  • Finish: Citrus and mineral

Have you tried this drink already?

Other Drinkers' Ratings

Akashi Sake Brewery
Bottle size (ml)
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