Eau de vie
Lemon Aromatic Ensemble
“Domestically produced lemons are very much in demand with the current lemon sour boom” suddenly said Koizumi, who is from a lemon farming family in Kamogawa.
Trying to convince them, I replied in a humble tone,
“I know they’re valuable lemons that you have, but would you mind parting with some?
Koizumi’s lemon fields are located on a hilly area of a village forest near Oyama Senmaida, Kamogawa City, Chiba Prefecture. They are surrounded by small mountains, and while sunlight beams down, there is very little wind, making for the perfect environment.
I managed to have Koizumi let me buy 150kg of the domestically produced lemons that are collected here at the end of autumn after hard-fought negotiations.
The lemons I took home were to be peeled by everyone together using a peeling device called Choi Muki Smart. Koizumi makes his lemons without using any agricultural chemicals, however, and most of them not have a thick skin, but are also a little lumpy, so the Choi Muki Smart was of hardly any use and we ended up peeling them all by hand.
After crushing the flesh of the lemons down finely, I added yeast and fermented them. The 10kg of peel was soaked in rice spirits, and each lemon distilled.
The finished Eau de vie is exactly a condensed lemon. It was there that the problem of the fragrance of these high purity lemons actually felt artificial. It was almost like you were drinking a lemon-flavored tablet. The memory of humans is a strange thing.
From there I blended in a spirit I made using three kinds of herbs that give off the smell of lemons, lemon scented verbena, lemongrass, lemon basil, all of which were collected from Naeme.
The result of which was an Eau de vie that was more lemon that lemon, or in other words “lemon-like” drink.
Please enjoy the ensemble of fragrances that surround lemons. It is of course just right for adding soda and tonic to make a lemon sour drink, too.
Alcohol volume: 46%
Bottle label drawing: Shinpei Kusanagi