Pucker Up! Japanese Excotic Juices are Here

We are always looking for new ingredients and recipes. We try to use the best and freshest ingredients available and we enjoy experimenting with new elements. On several occasions, Marx Foods has given us the opportunity to dabble in new tastes and flavors. Most recently we received a Japanese Juice Sampler with 12-ounce bottles of Yuzu, Sudachi & Kabosu juices. These juices are all natural, not from concentrate and  pasteurized. These juices come from acid wild citrus types (called "Papedas") growing in the monsoon region and parts of Japan and China. Papedas belong to the most primitive known types of citrus plants.

As with most of our culinary adventures, all four of us participated in the sampling of the exotic Japanese juices. We started with the Yuzu juice. We expected it to be tart, but “Yowza!” After the initial shock, we conferred and decided that the Yuzu juice most resembled grapefruit juice with a hint of kumquat. There was a definite coniferous flavor as well; similar to that of juniper berries.

Next, we tried the Sudachi juice. This juice was also “pucker-city” as one teenager interjected. This juice is very astringent with lemon and orange notes, and had a more medicinal and elemental flavor. This juice would be best used in a marinade or a savory sauce instead of a drinking juice. We could definitely see using this in a ceviche recipe.

At last we tried the Kabosu juice. Before tasting it, I recognized a smell from my youth “orange-flavored baby aspirin.” (Of course, aspirin is no longer recommended for children due to its connection to Reyes Syndrome.) It was the strongest and sharpest flavor of the three juices by far, with a limey flavor, good mouth-feel and a surprisingly pleasant after taste; very herbal and lavender-like. We all agreed that of the three juices, this was the overall favorite.

While several web sites refer to using exotic Japanese juices in drinks, but very few actual cocktails recipes. These are a few we came up with (without the help of our teenage sons!)

Kabosu Seabreeze
1 1/2 oz. premium Vodka
4 oz. cranberry juice
1 oz. Kabuso juice

Mix all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker, shake well and pour into an ice-filled highball glass.

Sudachi Margarita
1 1/2 oz. premium Tequila
1/2 oz. premium Triple Sec
1 oz. Sudachi juice
2-3 oz. ice

Mix all ingredients together in a blender and mix until smooth. Pour into a salt-rimmed, ice-filled margarita glass.

Yuzu Martini
2 1/2 oz. premium Vodka
1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz. Yuzu juice
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 twist of lemon peel

Into a cocktail shaker, pour the Vodka, sweet vermouth and Yuzu juice. Add ice and sugar. Shake vigorously for a couple of minutes to make sure the sugar dissolves. Strain and pour the contents of the cocktail shaker into the martini glass, and garnish with the twist of lemon peel.