Yuzushu: The Tangy and Refreshing Japanese Citrus Liqueur

Yuzushu is a traditional Japanese liqueur made by steeping yuzu, a citrus fruit native to East Asia, in sake or shochu and sweetening it with sugar. The result is a tangy and refreshing beverage with a unique flavour that has been enjoyed in Japan for centuries.


Often described as a combination of lemon, lime, and grapefruit, the Yuzu fruit resembles a cross between a lemon and grapefruit. It has a fragrant aroma and a tart, acidic taste. In Japanese cuisine, yuzu is used in soups, sauces, marinades, and desserts. It is typically harvested in the winter months and used for various dishes.


yuzu citrus


As part of the process of making yuzushu, thin slices of yuzu fruit are steeped for several months in sake or shochu. The longer the yuzu is steeped, the stronger the flavor becomes. In order to balance the tartness of the citrus fruit, sugar is added after it has infused the alcohol. Typically, the liqueur is bottled with a low alcohol content of between 8-12 percent, making it a light and refreshing beverage.


Yuzushu has a bright, citrusy flavour, tangy acidity, and subtle sweetness. It is often served chilled and enjoyed as a digestif or as a refreshing drink during the warmer months. Yuzushu can also be used in cocktails, adding a unique citrus twist to classic drinks like martinis and margaritas.


yuzu cocktail


Yuzushu is not widely available outside of Japan, but it has gained popularity in recent years as interest in Japanese cuisine and culture has grown. Some speciality liquor stores may carry yuzushu, which can also be purchased online from Japanese speciality food retailers.


In Japan, yuzushu is often enjoyed during the winter months as a way to ward off colds and flu due to its high vitamin C content and immune-boosting properties. It is also said to have relaxing properties and is sometimes enjoyed before bed to unwind and promote restful sleep.



The Iya valley on Shikoku island.
(The Iya valley on Shikoku Island) 


From the 1960s, the Kochi prefecture turned its attention away from the logging industry and concentrated its energy on yuzu cultivation. These days, the mountain slopes are mostly covered with yuzu orchards, and the region has become the biggest producer of yuzu.


It is no wonder then that most of Japan's yuzushu is produced on the Shikoku Island and, most specifically, in the prefecture of Kochi.


In conclusion, yuzushu is a delicious and unique Japanese liqueur that offers a refreshing citrus flavour with tangy acidity and subtle sweetness. Its versatility in cocktails and as a standalone beverage makes it a perfect addition to any liquor cabinet or bar. If you can try yuzushu, be sure to savour its complex and delicious taste.


Check out our range of yuzushu below :) 

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