Moo-ve over, eggnog: there’s a new milk-based alcoholic beverage in town!
Kusatsu onsen is considered one of Japan’s top three hot springs. Even if you have never visited this place, you have likely seen images like this:
When driving to Kusatsu from Tokyo, you can drive past the Asamashuzo Tourism Center (浅間酒造観光センター).
Frankly, we were not expecting much in terms of quality alcoholic beverages when we stopped by at this place. As a sprawling complex, with lots of non-alcohol-related foods and souvenirs, we imagined the sake would be an afterthought, along the lines of “Oh, by the way, we also have this.” But one of the most popular items at the Center, at least according to reviews on Google, is a low-alcohol (5%) Yogurt Liqueur, which didn’t sound very appealing to us.
But lo and behold, their Yogurt Liqueur was absolutely delightful, beyond our wildest imaginations. It was thick and creamy and reminiscent of eggnog. It was sweet, but not cloyingly so. The ingredients consisted of yogurt from a local farm, pot-distilled shochu (単式蒸留焼酎), and sugar. If it were available closer to Tokyo, we would likely make it a Drinking Japan tradition to consume this over the holidays.
So, moo-ve over, eggnog, you have a worthy challenger in town!
Nota bene: You can also taste several of their Nihonshu at the shop, including one made using yeast sourced from roses. This was also very appealing. We suggest our readers pay a visit to Asamashuzo Tourism Center and check out the bounty from the beautiful bovines and the Center’s other fine products.