Another one of Japan's herbal remedy companies is entering the world of spirits. This time it's Niigata prefecture's Echigo Yakuso, a maker of herbal teas and health products centered on Japanese mugwort. They have two new bottles now available: 80SPIRITS with 80 different plants as ingredients, and 80GIN that throws 23 gin botanicals on top.
Let's start with 80SPIRITS. It's a category-less spirit. In the press release, Echigo Yakuso says they take a whopping 80 different plants, put them in a ceramic container, and leave them to ferment and mature for a year. After that, they distilled the mixture. Yeah, we are missing some important details--how does it even ferment?--but they instead give us the full list of plants involved. Let's just name a few: Japanese mugwort, bamboo, fig leaf, persimmon leaf, onion, carrot, spinach, chameleon plant, mandarin, pineapple, grape, lemon, ginger, cabbage, garlic, and kombu. That leaves, hmm, 64 other ingredients!
As though 80 weren't enough, 80GIN takes it even a step further. No, actually, 23 steps further. 23 different botanicals are steeped in 80SPIRITS, then the whole mix is distilled once again. Those 23 botanicals are listed in full on the product page. But the list is slightly more traditional with things like juniper berry, thyme, fennel, anise seed, and licorice.
80SPIRITS goes for 4800 yen before tax, and 80GIN for 5800 yen. Both 41% abv.
Whiskey Richard is the founder of nomunication.jp, and has been saying he has lived in Japan for ten years for the past four years. He enjoys drinking basically anything except straight-up Campari.