mitosaya botanical distillery

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No. 008
Eau de vie
2019
BANANA COUPLET
Banana & Ogatama flower

44% vol.

100ml ¥2,420
500ml ¥10,120

I found a bottle with a poorly-drawn picture of a dog at a liquor store in Bangkok. While was looking at the bad drawing on the bottle, a clerk woman suddenly snatched it from my hand and began scanning it. I paid the money without knowing what exactly happened, and I had to leave the store right away, as if I were getting kicked out.

What I realized afterwards, though, was that it’s illegal to sell liquor between 2PM and 5PM in Thailand. All of that happened at 1:59 PM. In essence, the lady was simply trying to help me out, a Japanese guy standing almost absentmindedly with a bottle of liquor in his hand.

The bottle with the dog picture contained a liquor somehow made from bananas, which had a strong sweet aroma that reminded me of the tropics. It prompted me to think about making banana liquor myself, but it would be odd to import bananas to mitosaya just for that purpose. There was no particular reason to do so, either.

But while I was thinking about this, I met someone in Chiba who grew bananas. According to Handa-san, the owner of GP Farm in Narita, freezing the banana seeds to minus 60 degrees Celsius causes it to believe that it has entered the Ice Age. When returned to normal temperatures, the seeds will adapt to just about any environment.

To be honest, I was quite suspicious. But when I actually went to check out the farm in Narita, there were bananas growing in the greenhouse. And yet, GP farm’s bananas were quite expensive and too good to be used for making liquor. When he saw that I was disappointed, he cut a banana flower and gave it to me. When I peeled off the red banana flower, I found a small banana inside, which had a faint banana scent.

At the end of spring, even at mitosaya, I somehow smelled the scent of bananas in the evening. I looked over and also found a small flower on the banana shrubs glowing in whitish yellow. This meant that I pretty much couldn’t wait any longer to make some banana eau de vie.

I got Ecuador’s fanciest bananas from the only banana specialty store in Yodobashi Market, to make fruit brandy. I also blended in banana blossoms and spirits made from banana shrubs. I hope you enjoy perusing this banana couplet, which, despite coming from the tropics, presents a calming warmth.

Item: Brandy
Ingredients: Banana (from Ecuador), banana shrub, rice spirits
Alcohol content: 44%
Amount: 100ml/500ml

Bottle label drawing: Shinpei Kusanagi