Surely It’s Too Early For This

I started the day with a champagne breakfast. I know, it’s not even 11am and I’m already drinking. Terrible, huh? 

To be fair, they were peach bellinis. Also, I turned 21 so I guess that counts as an excuse? It’s not what I actually wanted to talk about, though, so… it’s irrelevant but still vaguely related – Through cousins Ume and Kome. In other words, plums and alcohol distilled from rice (or barley (or sweet potato)).

Basically, I’ve at last managed to try chuhai, a Japanese cocktail of sorts that I’ve wanted to drink since I read about John of Tofugu’s ‘not so secret love affair’ with the drink, which gave it such lofty praise that I simply had to get a hold of it. Unfortunately internet foods can be so annoying. My local Chinese supermarket didn’t even stock it, so unless I ate my pride and was willing to pay stupid prices for some alcohol, I wasn’t getting any yummy shochu nectar.

My pride remained uneaten and my craving unsatiated. I never had a great taste for pride – it’s too salty.

I found a Japanese shop in Piccadilly, however. That sold it. Also useful, my boyfriend didn’t live too far away either.

Naturally, we stopped by. They didn’t have that many flavours to choose from, sadly – only plum, grape and grapefruit, but we bought a few home with us. Granted, the cans are pretty small but they weren’t too bad price wise. I was pretty happy. Also, the shop is pretty nice. Definitely going there again when I have money to burn – for anyone curious the shop was Japan Centre, so you should take a look, I recommend it.

Oh, I also bought a samurai bento box. Just putting that out there.

Right, I’m no great food critic or alcohol connoisseur so don’t expect me to break it down for you. It’s shochu with added fruit, that’s all I know – well okay mine had sake in it, judging by the label – but the point of my ignorance still stands. There won’t be much depth to this, excluding whether my tastebuds recoiled or rejoiced.

To get to the point, they weren’t running away in terror and disgust, chuhai is pretty nice. In fact, it’s damn nice. Just what the doctor ordered, and I nearly ordered a whole case following the first swig. Lucky for my wallet I restrained myself.

It’s very light and refreshing and you can’t taste the alcohol too much, so it goes down pretty easily. Flavours were pretty yummy too, although I preferred the plum. I don’t particularly like red grapes. I take my wine like I take my grapes – white.

Truth be told, they did have a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste to them, but it didn’t really detract from the drink. It was closer to the more-ish effect you find with fruit pastilles. They were certainly nice paired with a viewing of  ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’, something I have never seen before, funnily enough.

Anyway, I rather enjoyed the drink and will definitely buy some more next time I get an opportunity.


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