Sunday, July 20, 2008

Launch Of Choya Ume Liquor

images by Veronica Ng

Daisho Food (M) Sdn Bhd recently introduced its range of Choya ume fruit liquor to Malaysians at the Republic Bar and restaurant in Sunway Pyramid.

A Traditional Japanese drum performance by the Japan Club of Malaysia announced the beginning of the launch, followed by traditional and contemporary Japanese Butoh Dance performance by internationally renowned performers Tony Yap and Yumi Umiumare.

The plum based drink with a 14.6% alcohol content comes in a unique easy-to- pour bottle and a variety of flavours. Besides the traditional blend, it also comes in honey and herbs. I personally liked the traditional concoction as I could taste the sweet acidic original taste of the apricot. After drinking the liquor, you can eat the preserved apricots in the bottle.

The Japanese plum or ume (sometimes referred to as Japanese apricot) has played an important role in Japanese culture for many centuries. It was originally introduced from China.

The plum is associated with the start of spring, because plum blossoms are some of the first blossoms to open during the year. In the Tokyo area, they typically flower in February and March. The event is celebrated with plum festivals (ume matsuri) in public parks, shrines and temples across the country.

Like cherry trees, plum trees come in many varieties, many of which were cultivated over the centuries. Most plum blossoms have five petals and range in color from white to dark pink. Some varieties with more than five petals (yae-ume) and weeping branches (shidare-ume) have also been cultivated. Unlike cherry blossoms, plum blossoms have a strong fragrance.

The actual ume fruit is more sour than the western plum or apricot, and is usually processed in various ways before being eaten. The most popular processed form is the umeboshi, a sour, pickled plum, which is usually enjoyed with cooked rice. The umeboshi has one of the most typical Japanese flavors. Umeshu, a sweet alcoholic beverage made of plums, is also very popular

Umeshu, with its subtle sweet flavour, has been consumed for over 1,000 years in Japan. This liqueur is made from green ume apricots, shochu and sugar, and is left to fermernt and mature for between three months and one year. Because of the healthy properties of ume, umeshu is popular not only as a delicious drink, but also as a medicine. Ume apricots are rich in potassium and calcium and fruit acid, which aids digestion, breaks down lactic acid and are said to increase the body's metabolic rate and reduce tiredness.

Founded in 1914 as a winery, Choya began producing umeshu using only natural ingredients in 1959 and is today the world's leading umeshu producer. Scientific research has shown that ume contain unique relaxing properties and many health benefits. Thanks to expert blending and the quality of ume used, Choya's umeshu are delightful and very approachable and can be drunk in cocktails or straight, as an aperitif or tonic.



Post a Comment

<< Home