Recently, I overheard a conversation between my friend and his child.
…“Dad, what is yuzu? I only know lemon.” …There was a few seconds of silence, followed up with great response… “Come over and let’s find out together.”…
This simple question led me to find out more about this delicate citrus fruit which you usually find used in Japanese cuisine.
Yuzu was originally found in the wild in central China and Tibet. It was later then introduced to Japan and Korea during the Tang Dynasty and since then Japanese farmers have cultivated yuzu for culinary, medicinal and bathing purposes.
Yuzu trees yield a variety of harvests throughout the year. Flowers from April to May, green fruits from June to August and ripe yellow Yuzu in November and December. The green fruit is used as both as a fruit and for grated rind in salads and sashimi dishes for its spicy citrus notes. Yuzu, in its golden-yellow colour, is always much anticipated for its even more prolific uses.
Aside being used in sashimi, sushi and many other recipes, ripe yuzu is turned into a hot tea to treat cold and flu. Yuzu juice and peel is widely used to infuse sake and enjoyed as a digestive, or as a cocktail ingredient. There have been several gin brands popping up with yuzu in their recipe.
Here’s our take on a cocktail for you:
60 ml Blended scotch whisky
15 ml Yuzu honey*
25 ml lemon juice
Top up with soda
Combine all the ingredients in tall glass over ice, gently stir and enjoy.
Yuzu honey* – combine honey together with yuzu juice in a 1:1 ratio, stir to combine both ingredients and keep refrigerated.
Bartenders note: “Yuzu tart notes with grapefruit and mandarin overtones will compliment every white and brown spirit.”