Right now is a good time for green tea lovers to be in Japan. From pizzas to granola; KitKats to McFlurries, all our favorite products are turning green as we head toward the warmer months and the first tea harvests of the year. For the Itohkyuemon tea store in Kyoto’s highly regarded green tea-producing region of Uji, this is the perfect time to bring out some green tea-based alcoholic beverages for customers to enjoy during the hanami cherry blossom viewing season.
Itohkyuemon has been selling tea since 1832. Now, more than a century later, the respected tea specialists are bringing “vin au thé vert” (green tea wine) to the market as part of their “Yokan no Midori” (Midnight Green) range of alcoholic beverages.
Created in collaboration with Kyoto’s Tamba Wine company, the unusual beverage incorporates a white wine base along with the finest powdered tea from Uji to create a vivid, green-colored drink. The flavor combines the faint bitterness of matcha with the soft acidity and sweetness of grapes to produce a delicious, refreshing aftertaste.
The sweetness of the wine is said to pair well with meals, especially those with vegetables and fish. And it can also be enjoyed on ice or with soda for a Sangria-style drink that pairs well with cheese, fruits and sweets.
With an alcoholic strength of 12%, the wine is available in 300-milliliter bottles for 1,296 yen or 500-milliliter bottles for 1,944 yen.
For customers who prefer their alcoholic matcha with chocolate, Itohkyuemon also has a beautiful-looking green tea chocolate liqueur on sale until May 24. The rich green drink, which can be enjoyed straight, on ice, with milk or even as a hot cocktail, comes in 500-milliliter bottles for 3,175 yen. And for those who prefer to blend green tea with Japan’s more traditional alcoholic beverages, there’s the gorgeous Matcha Umeshu plum wine which comes in 200-mililiter bottles for 1,360 yen or pretty 500-mililiter bottles for 2,608 yen.
The beautiful Matcha Junmaishu, which incorporates Japanese sake made without added alcohol or sugar, comes in 180-mililiter bottles for 1,360 yen or dew-drop shaped 500-milliliter bottles for 3,628 yen.
All these green-hued drinks in the Yokan no Midori range can be purchased online here for delivery within Japan. Alternatively, you can check out the range in person at any of their three stores in Kyoto.
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