Pure Spirits: The Choya Single Year – Married under Cherry Trees

Even though I have first used the Japanese Umeshu liqueur from the ume apricot in the eponymous cocktail here on the blog, Umeshu has been the main center of attention during the last weeks. My article about three Choya-Umeshus and various cocktails document this focus and also show what you can do with this liqueur. Today’s bottle shows that there are also further quality levels within this particular genus of liqueurs. (provided test product*)

The premium claim is underlined by the name of the bottle: “The Choya Single Year”. Not only the addition of an article shows a certain proudness of the product, also the indication “single year” makes you sit up. For this premium Umeshu, various batches of matured Umeshus have been used. According to the manufacturer, at least three different Ume liqueurs, which were allowed to mature between one and two years, are married to create “The Choya Single Year”. The base spirit is once more made from sugar cane and infused with the Nanko ume fruit.

Tasting Notes:

Aroma: A rich, aromatic plum combines with citrus, honey, dried fruit (mainly dates), licorice, associations of English wine gum, amarena cherries and candied orange. A very complex and fascinating nose.

Taste: orange, mirabelle, citrus peels, wild honey and, of course, also a full-bodied plum. In addition to that there are slight hints of cherries. The sweetness of this Umeshu is not too intense, instead it is nicely balanced by a sourish-aromatic note.

Finish: Complex, astringent and surprisingly fresh

I really like the “The Choya Single Year”. Of course, I also wanted to use it in a small cocktail and opted for a simple, straight-up drink that emphasizes the fruity-complex tones of “The Choya Single Year”. To do so I have also chosen the excellent sour cherry eau de vie from “Faude Feine Brände” since it promised a beautiful harmony with the sour-aromatic sweetness and fruitiness of “The Choya Single Year”. I rounded off the whole thing with a little dash of Cherry Bitters and some Clément Créole Shrubb. The drink is called “Married under Cherry Trees”, named after a line from a Nick Cave song (see video below).

Recipe “Married under Cherry Trees”:

4.5 cl Faude Feine Brände Sauerkirsche (sour cherry eau de vie)
2.5 cl The Choya Single Year
0.75 cl Clément Créole Shrubb
1 Dash Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters

Preparation: Stir all ingredients on ice until cold and strain into your pre-chilled glass.

Glass: Martini

Garnish: Griottines cherries (or other brandied cherries)

Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online

*The fact that this product has been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.

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