Summer in a Glass: Homemade Umeshu (Plum Wine)

Umeshu as seen in Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou Episode 12It’s been a year in the making, but I finally cracked open my jars of homemade umeshu (plum wine) a couple months ago, and I am pleased to say that it was sweet with a wonderful sourness, incredibly fragrant and deliciously alcoholic. Basically, summer in a glass.

Umeshu isn’t a drink that’s commonly seen in anime, maybe because most anime is set in high school and minors can’t technically drink on TV… But, I did see it once (ONCE!!) on an episode of Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou, and since then, I’ve been obsessed with trying to make it myself.

Have you ever seen umeshu/plum wine in anime before? Or, have you ever tried it in real life? Continue reading

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The Flavor of Ginko’s Love: Honey Ginger Milk

Honey ginger milk - Yuri Kuma Arashi 07 - 03I love honey, ginger, and milk separately, but for some reason or another, I never thought to combine all three together into one crazy simple but very comforting drink… that is until I saw an episode of Yuri Kuma Arashi in which Lulu tends to Ginko, who is sick with a fever (and other injuries), and whips up a pot of her best friend’s favorite honey ginger milk!

Warm and gentle, the spicy heat of the ginger is tempered slightly by the sweet honey and hot milk… It’s a flavor that Ginko holds dear, as Lulu tells Kureha:

You know, the flavor of Ginko’s love is honey ginger milk. It’s the flavor that tells her she’s not alone in the world; the taste of a twinkling star… Continue reading

My Little Mugicha Can’t Be This Cute!

Mugi Cha - Oreimo 11 - 01As soon as summer hits, it’s a never-ending war of attrition between that terrible, soul-sucking heat and my feeble attempts to stay cool. Besides embracing my air conditioner, eating copious amounts of ice cream, and trying not to move much, the summer months mark that time of year when I drink copious amounts of ice cold mugicha, or roasted barley tea, all in an attempt to stave off the heat.

Caffeine free, mugicha is a robust-tasting, flavourful tea that can be made either hot or cold. Its roasted flavour is reminiscent of the roasted taste found in coffee. In anime, it’s often hard to identify drinks, since so many look the same or are not identified by name. So, imagine my surprise when I watched season 1 of Oreimo and saw Kyousuke drink glass after glass of mugicha in nearly every episode! Continue reading