Does this sweet dessert taste as good in liquid form as solid?

Japan is definitely the place to look for unique liqueur flavors like cherry blossom and matcha, but did you know you can find dessert-themed ones as well? Japanese alcohol company Ume no Yado recently released a series of three dessert-themed liqueurs–Strawberry Daifuku?, Apple Pie?, and Pineapple Cake?–and our Japanese-language reporter Maro knew she had to try the strawberry daifuku one.

Strawberry daifuku, or ichigo daifuku, in Japanese, is a traditional Japanese dessert, consisting of a strawberry (ichigo) inside a mochi dumpling (daifuku) with a layer of sweet bean paste (anko) in between.

▼ Ichigo daifuku

▼ Ume no Yado’s Strawberry Daifuku? liqueur

Ume no Yado is known for creating sweet-flavored, low-alcohol-content liqueurs that contain fruit, and this series was inspired by the recent trend of shime parfaits, or parfaits eaten at the end of a hearty meal or a night of drinking. The goal was to create a drink that imitated the feeling of eating shime parfait without actually eating one, hence the question mark in each flavor’s name.

Maro ordered a set of two Strawberry Daifuku? bottles for 3,960 yen (US$26). She had tried Ume no Yado’s strawberry liqueur before and liked it, so she figured strawberry daifuku would be just as good. A quick look at the ingredients showed her all of the daifuku essentials were there: strawberries and two kinds of sweet bean paste. The only thing missing was the mochi.

For a more accurate taste test, Maro enjoyed her drink with strawberry daifuku in solid form. An avid strawberry daifuku fan, Maro was skeptical about how it would taste in liquid form, though.

The first taste she detected was the sweet, slightly tart strawberry flavor used in many Japanese sweets, almost like a high-quality strawberry jam.

Then she clearly picked up the flavor of the sweet bean paste, which was punctuated by the skins of the beans along with strawberry pulp. It was almost like drinking shiruko, a Japanese red bean paste drink.

Just like in a good strawberry daifuku, the mellow sweetness of the bean paste was just enough to highlight the strawberry’s strong flavor. There was no alcohol flavor due to the neutral-tasting sake used as a base, so it really did feel like drinking a dessert. The only thing lacking was the chewy mochi texture you’d get in a solid strawberry daifuku.

In contrast, the solid daifuku Maro bought tasted extremely sweet when she took a bite of it after sipping the drink. As sweet as the Strawberry Daifuku? had tasted, when she directly compared the two she realized that the liqueur isn’t nearly as sweet as the actual dessert, and so in hindsight, they’re probably best enjoyed separately, not as a pair.

Whether you’re someone who likes a wide range of alcoholic beverages or someone who only like ones without a harsh kick, Maro would recommend this to anyone looking for a unique drink. She can’t wait to try the Apple Pie? and Pineapple Cake? flavors next!

Photos © SoraNews24
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