4 Offbeat Drinks For A Japanese Summer
By Lisa Hong
Thank goodness for all of the konbinis – the air conditioned havens to escape the blazing sun and unforgiving heat. During this respite, people don’t think twice about grabbing a cold beverage to alleviate themselves or to take with them as they brave the outdoors. Yes, Mitsuwa Cider, Calpis, Chu-Hi, and Suntory drinks all have a place in our hearts during the summer season.
Here’s a few more offbeat ones that you may not have heard of, but have to try!
This drink can only be purchased in bars and restaurants. The draft beer itself isn’t frozen, but the head is! This ensures your beer will remain cold and carbonated for an extended period of time. This is an especially genius concept in outdoor summer events such as festivals and beer gardens.
DIY Sake Cocktails
Many people in Japan make cocktails out of Shochu, but I have never been a fan. For me, nothing could mask the rubbing alcohol sensations of this liquor, and if it did, there probably wasn’t much Shochu in it in the first place.
I am however a huge fan of Sake cocktails, although I am not a fan of paying cocktail prices. In the summer time, I love stocking my fridge with sake and yummy drinks like Mitsuwa Cider, Calpis, Aloe Vera juice, white peach juice, or anything else that looks fun from the grocery store. Sake is much smoother than Shochu, and I can put much more sake in my glass without feeling like there is ammonia coming out of my pores.
So first I pour in the chilled sake (as much as I can handle) and then I pour in a bit of the fruity stuff, just enough to add flavor. I never use “good” Sake, though; I usually use the boxed Sake, such as Sho Chiku Bai (the one in the red box).
Sapporo White Belg
Sapporo released a canned white beer, in case you need a change from all of the lagers in stock. Light to medium bodied, slightly bitter yet completely refreshing, could be more flavorful but a very favorable choice when I’m in the mood for something more “wheaty”.
DIY Japanese Shandy
Shandy = Beer + Carbonated Lemonade
In Japan, this means mixing my “go to” Suntory Rich Malt and C.C. Lemon drink! This is so much fun to drink during picnics – the C.C. Lemon’s Vitamin C pumps you with energy while the beer extends your fun. A great drink for the outdoors.
Really, you can use any beer and any carbonated fruity drink, but the above mentioned formula is the one that works for me! I usually pour in 50 / 50, but the proportions are up to you.
What are your favorite summer drinks? Please provide recipes for your DIY creations!