Tsu Kimono

Tsu Kimono

  • 2.0 oz. Japanese gin (Roku)
  • 0.5 oz. umeshu liqueur (Choya)
  • 0.25 oz. ginger liqueur (King’s)
  • 0.25 oz. lemon juice
  • dash of King Floyd’s Scorched Pear and Ginger bitters

Shake with ice then strain into glass. Garnish with lemon (express oil optional).

I have had some umeshu liqueur, which comes from Japanese plums, for a while, but hadn’t yet utilized them in a cocktail. I went with a gin in the end, but think this could work equally well or even better with Japanese whisky. The ginger and lemon gave some spice and acid, and the bitters reined in the sweetness of the ume, which I wanted to make sure had lots of presence.

The name had an interesting development. Originally I had a name of Indigo Kimono, but as you can see from the pic that wasn’t going to work. In researching ume, I mistakenly looked at umeboshi, which is the pickled version of the plum. Umeboshi are tsukemono, the larger group of pickled fruits and veggies. Tsu Kimono seemed too good of a coincidental name, and tsu means “one” in Japanese (though I don’t think you’d put these together in this way actually).

Then I found out that tsukimono means “The Possessing Thing” from the Kanji “tsuki” meaning “possession” and “mono” meaning “thing”. This is a god or monster that has possessed and borrowed the body of a person.

A drink named after a spirit that possesses you? Seems appropriate.

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