If you’re looking for a light and refreshing drink to enjoy this summer, look no further than the juice of the yuzu. This fruit, which originated in central China, has a variety of culinary and beauty benefits. Now popular in Korea and Japan, its sweet taste and versatility make it an ideal fruit to explore.
What Is Yuzu?
This fruit resembles a small, yellow grapefruit or lemon, and packs the same mouth-puckering punch. Its flavor, light and bright, has been used in Asian cuisine for over 1,200 years. Grown on a small, shrub-like tree with aromatic leaves, the fruit can be yellow or green depending on its ripeness. In the United States, you can often find yuzu in a powdered or juice form. Because of the lemony taste, its favorite uses include sauces, desserts and salad.
The Health Benefits of Yuzu
The yuzu fruit isn’t just for cooking. In fact, as a tradition, people in Japan float it in hot baths on the winter solstice to ward off colds and the flu. With collagen and three times as much vitamin C as a lemon, it’s easy to see the appeal! The seeds are preserved in sake for skin toning and to treat irritation, and its oil is used as a common fragrance. Using the yuzu fruit in a bath or as a body product has even been shown to relax the mind — perfect for those long, summer days!
A Summer Cocktail
End your summer day with a refreshing drink in the form of a yuzu sour. The yuzu sour, or chuhai, is an easy and delicious Japanese drink you can make using this unique fruit and a popular Japanese alcohol.
Mix the following together and enjoy:
- 1/2 cup club soda
- 1/4 cup Japanese shochu
- 1 tablespoon simple syrup
- 1 teaspoon yuzu extract
- Ice cubes
Of course, you can experience a simple and tasty yuzu drink with ready-made alcohol. Drinks such as sparkling jelly sake and homare sake are easy ways to try the fresh taste of yuzu alongside your favorite Japanese drink.