Homemade Kinkanshuu: Made March 2002 (Japan: Kinkanshuu: ABV No Idea)

Visual: Apricot. Very viscous.

Nose: Lime. Thick, pungent and slightly musky. Key lime. Almond. Lemon sorbet. Bitter almond.

Body: Menthol. Apricot and almond. Very thick syrup. Candy floss. Golden syrup. Lemon.

Finish: Candy floss. Blood orange and apricot. Light lime.

Conclusion: What a difference the choice of fruit makes. From what I know this is made on the same recipe as the umeshuu, and this is still syrupy and thick; this, however has a much bigger contrast between the elements within.

There is lots of citrus lime to give a tart touch, and odder still there is a fresh menthol feel that pretty much completely changes the experience. While the sweetness here is actually probably bigger and more candy floss like than in the umeshuu, the extreme contrast between the two elements actually means that it is actually easier to drink. That fresh menthol somehow cuts it away and leaves you enticed to have more.

There is great sharp, mouth wakening elements, and when it is sweet it dances on the tongue, somehow thick and viscous yet can cut through that in a moment to deliver the fruitiness. As you can probably imagine this is a wonderful combination that makes the most of what the base can deliver.

Sweet , fruity and fresh, a drink of contrast and complexity. Very enjoyable, surpassing even the Umeshuu. When given the chance, this was the drink I returned to.

Background: I said in the Umeshuu review that I had not have much experience of that, so it would be a simpler review than normal. I have never tried kinkanshuu before, so this is your insight into my first awakening into this drink world. This again, was homemade in Japan, and brought back by my friends, who kindly let me try some of it. Many thanks to both Darren and Maki for their kindness. While made in 2002, this was drunk in 2013 – a rare treat. A quick google as we drank revealed that kinkan is apparently a type of kumquat. Who says drinking doesn’t help your education? Again, I had to use my phone camera – so apologies for the low quality photo.