Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit. Its flavour is amazing - not like anything you've tried before. It's tart and bitter, citrus-like, tangy and fresh, all at the same time.
Yuzu is used in Japanese cooking - both the juice and the rind are utilised to impart the unique yuzu flavour to many dishes. Try yuzu juice instead of lemon in salad dressings. Ponzu sauce also contains yuzu.
One other use is to flavour the traditional Japanese brew - sake. To be honest - I'm not a big fan of strong drinks, but after trying Yuzu sake, I'm converted.
Yuzu sake is made by a small Japanese brewery called Umenoyado. This is what they write on their website:
"In the so-called "second jizake boom" of the 1980s, the name of Ume no Yado became quite well known. Despite our small output, we gained a following, even in Tokyo, and people would often ask me, "Can't you make a bit more?" Naturally, we were very grateful for this, but feel, now as then, that it is better to keep Ume no Yado's output at around its current level of 1600 koku (288kl). Presently, if we receive a query from a customer, and we are given the name of the product and the shipping date on the label, I know the taste of the sake without even having to look at my records. "Ah, it's that sake we wanted to ship after aging it longer, but were running short of stock," we say to ourselves, for example. Or we receive the comment "It tastes a bit flatter than usual," and we admire the acuteness of the customer's palate, while regretting the shortfall of weeks or months in the maturation period - and taking steps to rectify the problem.
Yes, I think we shall continue to do our business on this scale, where we can keep a close, personal eye on everything. "A small brewery" we shall remain."
Lovely! And the flavour of their yuzu sake is uniquely refreshing - just what a sake needs. A touch of that bitter-sweet citrus note to perfectly balance the raw strength and energy of sake. A perfect combination.
Umenoyado have confirmed that their Yuzu sake is brewed without any animal ingredients, and thus suitable for vegans.
Update: Yuzu sake is now available at the: