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Yatagarasu Yoshino Monogatari Shiso

Yatagarasu Yoshino Monogatari Shiso is the bottle that first got me hooked on umeshu. It's made from a combination of red perilla leaves (known as Akai Shiso) and Yoshino Plums from the Kanagawa prefecture in Japan.


Unlike green shisho (called “ōba” in Japanese) that are usually available all year round, red shisho leaves are often harvested only in June and July. It tends to have a more astringent taste. (Image source: Chopstick Chronicles)


Yatagarasu Yoshino Monogatari Shiso 


Color: Vibrant pink. Reminds me of rosella water.

Nose: Delightfully aromatic, with a scent of shisho leaves, crisp morning air, and faintly sweet plums.

Palette: Each sip is met with a tangy, citric twang, followed by fruity sweetness. The texture feels quite chewable and thick. There's a sugary note of sour plums that tastes like sweet-sour fruit roll-ups and fruit gummies.

I sometimes find that umeshu can taste too one-dimensionally sugary, but the perilla leaf's influence on this particular bottle introduces added notes of mint, basil and anise. This results in an added herbaceous complexity, which complements the sweet ume wonderfully! 


(Image source: Grantourismo Travels)


Whenever I sip on this bottle, I'm often reminded of Bun Cha, a Vietnamese grilled pork dish that is often served with a plate of fragrant herbs and fish sauce on the side. Its a punchy flavor-bomb dish that marries notes of citrus, sugar, mint, and basil in the same way this umeshu does!

Finish: Slightly astringent notes of citrus and faintly sweet mint flavor lingers on the roof of the mouth.


 My Rating:


Like having a quiet popsicle to yourself while you relax in a garden. With aromatic herbaceous notes lingering in the air, sipping on this sweet-sour umeshu makes life feels serene.


I’d recommend pairing this with savoury, briny dishes, like fish noodles or oysters. The minty, fruity sweetness of this umeshu makes for a great palette cleanser between bites, cutting through the salty oceanic flavors.





You can pick up a bottle of Yatagarasu Yoshino Monogatari Shiso for yourself from Orihara (Singapore), at 11 Unity St, Singapore 237995.