Sugi Bee Garden Kyohou & Honey is a chain of stores in Japan specialising in honey products from Sugi Bee Garden. While D and I love to browse shops in Japan, many of which lure customers in with free samples, Sugi Yohoen is the one that not only manages to lure us in but has us also leaving with a purchase.
Why? Because one of their honey products is fruit juice honey, ‘honey flavoured with fruit juice that has a gentle sweetness and crisp, refreshing taste’. D and I love our flavoured drinks, and the fruit juice honey is delicious without the overly sweet and floral notes of usual honey. One sip from the samples and we’re having trouble deciding which one to bring home with us!
This here is Kyohou & Honey. Kyohou is a black grape produced in Japan known for its size (its name translates to giant mountain grape) and very sweet flesh.
There are numerous uses for this honey other than as a refreshing drink, including mixing with vodka or gin to make a delicious cocktail, pouring over yoghurt or ice cream, using it in recipes for jellies and sherbets, or as a spread on bread or pancakes. Our usual way to enjoy this honey, though, is to mix it in cold water for a refreshing cold beverage.
The recommended ratio for diluting the honey into a refreshing drink is 1:5. At this ratio, the red honey dilutes to a clear golden brown. The notes of the kyohou grape are prominent and very sweet at the head and into the body before a sour note emerges to accompany the sweetness towards the end of the body and leaves a fresh aftertaste. It’s very much like the intense sweetness and slight acidity you experience eating fresh ripe black grapes. Tiny particles float around suspended in the cup but do not affect the smoothness of the mouthfeel at all. Critically, there are none of the distinct floral notes of usual honey interfering with the grape flavour, suggesting that attention has been paid to pairing the fruit juice with the types of flowers the bees pollinate from.
This Kyohou & Honey is always refreshing, but particularly great for soothing a sore throat. It’s enjoyable at the 1:5 ratio, though D and I prefer a ratio of 1:8 for a mellower sweetness with decent grape flavour.
This bottle of Sugi Bee Garden Kyohou & Honey contained 300 g. It was bottled in Japan and purchased in Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan in 2014.