Kentucky chrysanthemum: the cocktail

This post originally appeared on my AikiWeb blog…

I never liked plum wine when I tried it in America, but the plum wine in Japan is something else altogether. It comes in about a gazillion varieties with different base alcohols, pulp or no pulp, etc.

Tonight, I’m trying to research “seishin kyoiku” on the Internet while avoiding websites devoted to intricate WWII strategy games. At the same time, I’m eating “hamburgers” (Life minced beef on Lawson 105-yen bread with Delmonte Ketchup and unknown Japanese brand mayonnaise), and drinking cocktails.

Since it was recently payday at work, I am feeling rich despite living at the poverty line, so I bought some plum wine. I am drinking it with whisky (which keeps showing up in my ‘fridge despite its cost) and soda water. I looked this cocktail up online and found basically nothing. There are two drinks called “Japanese Jack” and “Japanese Jim,” which are plum wine with 7-Up and, respectively, Jack Daniels or Jim Beam.

Although you can find just about any anything if you look hard enough in Japan, in general, there are only a few western whiskies available. Jim Beam can be found in most convenience stores, and Jack Daniels is slightly less common, but can be found easily. Thus, these brands are using subversive advertising techniques by posting cocktail descriptions that incorporate their names.

For the poor gaijin, the best bet is to go to an import store and get Heaven Hill or Evan Williams bourbons. Beam and Jack are way overrated, and Evan WIlliams seems to be the least objectionable bourbon at a low cost.

Anyhow, if you want to make a decent sweet drink, just combine plum wine with soda water. If it is too sweet, add boubon, as I have tonight. That raises the alcohol % while cutting the sweetness of the plum wine and adding a slightly woody flavor that complements the plum. Quite nice actually…

How ’bout “Kentucky chrysanthemum” for a name?