11th June Is Umeshu Day!
Nyubai is one of the zassetstu (seasonal days created to match Japanese seasons as opposed to 24 Solar terms which were imported from ancient China), and it falls on June 10 or 11 every year, the 135th day after Risshun (first day of spring in the traditional Japanese calendar), when the solar ecliptic longitude reaches 80 degrees.
In the old days, nyubai was the beginning of the rainy season, and it was a very important date for Japanese people in determining the time of rice planting. Nowadays, however, the meteorological term “tsuyu iri” is used to signify the beginning of the rainy season. The presence of the baiu weather front is the key, and the rainy season is decided by the movement of the this weather front, so it may come later or earlier than usual.
Both nyubai (入梅) and tsuyu (梅雨) contain a kanji which means plum and you might be wondering what the rainy season has to do with plums. It was actually named so because ume plums ripen in this season. So this is the season for the Japanese people to enjoy everything made from plums!
A Day to Enjoy Umeshu!
While there are all sorts of foods with ume in Japan, one of the best ways to enjoy it is undoubtedly umeshu! Therefore, it was decided by Japan Anniversary Association that 11th June will be Umeshu Day. This is the day to enjoy a premium quality umeshu!
One the top umeshu producers is Nakano BC. The brewery uses a superior quality Nanko ume from Wakayama to make its umeshu. To preserve the delicious flavor of ume, the brewing tanks are managed by a team of skilled workers who carefully check the acidity and sweetness of umeshu, mixing the fruit and changing tanks as necessary.
On their best-selling products is Nakano BC Yuzu Umeshu, which is a unique blend of yuzu juice, which was extracted from fruits in Shikoku Island and umeshu liqueur. The acidity of the ume fruit and the refreshing aroma of yuzu are well harmonized to create a pleasantly crisp flavour.
Since its release in 2006, it has been a long-selling plum wine that has remained at the top of the popularity charts, and is served in many restaurants all over Japan. It has won Gold medal in Liquor and Spirits Category at the Lyon International Competition in 2020 and 2021. Serve it on the rocks in summer, or hot with hot water in winter. You can also enjoy it with soda for a refreshing taste.