Every morning for the last couple of weeks I have stood by my kitchen window with a mug of coffee, watching the rain or snow falling from the sky and counting the days until south-east Asia trip. I can’t wait to leave rainy London behind and spend some time in Thailand enjoying the sun and ocean. Only another four weeks and I’ll be warm again.
But in the meantime here I am in wet, cold Europe and I have to deal with the winter blues as best I can. One of my proven remedies for this “condition” is drinking and eating foods that clearly remind me of my travels or have summer trapped in their flavour profile. So I cook oriental, visit Mexican or North African restaurants and drink Caribbean rum or fruity wine from hot countries etc. Everything so that, just for a moment, I can close my eyes and forget about the horrible weather outside.
Last weekend I went to Mr Bao, my favourite Taiwanese restaurant (I told you about it here) where the restaurant manager, after seeing my rather unhappy face, brought me a complimentary shot of “something that will sort you out right away.“
I asked what that is and he said, “it’s sake”. Well, I have to say I wasn’t very enthusiastic at first as I generally don’t like sake, but this stuff was bright yellow and smelled of citrus … so I took a cautious sip and felt my face spread with the first true smile that day. The gorgeous fruity liquor I was given was Ume No Yado, Yuzu Honjozo Sake. I liked it so much that I bought a bottle to take home.
Ume No Yado Yuzu Honjozo Sake is yuzu fruit infused rice wine. Yuzu fruit is a wonderful Japanese citrus which looks a like a lemon with thick rough skin, but combines the flavours of lemon, tangerine and ripe lime. Ume No Yado is a low alcohol (8% abv), very fruity, fresh, tangy and little bit sweet sake that should be served cold. When properly chilled it makes a really refreshing sipping drink – summer trapped in the bottle.