Eau de vie
Wistful berries from R-kobo
44% / vol
An eau de vie made using R studio’s strawberries that were picked by a couple who live self-sufficiently in the mountains of Chiba prefecture’s Isumi city.
When I visited them for the first time, I quickly realized that their lifestyle was very different from the stoic one that I associated with the word “self-sufficient”. Their self-built home is surrounded by a multitude of fields, where they grow everything from wild rice and saffron to strawberries. They make natto kits from wild rice, straws from wheat, and the pièce de résistance, strawberry rice. I was surprised by their rich way of life, which overflows with their own identity and humor.
In particular, 30 years ago they split the roots of 3 strawberry bushes for us, and they have grown and grown until now, when this strawberry field is the same size as the front wall of their home. The name “field strawberry” comes from the fact that these strawberries are neither obsessively cultivated strawberries, nor are they wild strawberries. Unexpectedly, people do not grow strawberries in this manner.
These strawberries, which are grown free of chemicals and pesticides, were specially harvested for us after the end of the usual strawberry season.
For people who are used to seeing modern strawberries, they are incredibly small and perfectly round. They have a strong dark red color, and are so soft that their juice seeps out when you hold them in your hand. When you eat them, they are both sweet and sour at the same time.
These strawberries, which took 4 people half a day to pick, were then soaked in rice spirits on the same day that they were harvested after being brought home. This process slowly draws out their fragrance and color, and after 6 weeks of distillation this eau de vie, which is instilled with all of the appeal of the strawberries, is then blended with purple sage that is picked while still young.
Alcohol volume: 44%
Bottle label drawing: Shinpei Kusanagi