“On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?”
I love this line from Meatloaf’s “You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth.” In your imagination I am a culinary Adonis. I tower over the other puny cooks. I am muscular and handsome. Whatever your image of me, it is wrong. I am a pasty, grey-haired, Englishman. When the thermometer rises above 70 degrees, I begin to wilt. There is little that I can do about it, other than stay inside air-conditioned buildings.
When the sun has dipped below the yard-arm, I am known to indulge in gin. My friends offer me expensive gin, but I grew up on the cheap stuff. Gordon and Gilby are my two best friends during the summer months! However, as crusty and irascible as I might be, not even I would dream of drinking during the working day. So mugicha is my drink of choice.
It is served in Japan during the summer months and kept cold in the fridge, like ice-tea. However, it has a delicate nutty flavor to it and is absolutely caffeine free. I can remember thinking that mugicha had an odd flavor to it the very first time I had it. I quickly learned to love it and now crave it when the weather turns warm and have it in a large tumbler over ice. Bliss.
The picture above is a popular brand in Japan and was bought in my local Asian supermarket. I even surprised Karl’s wife, Yumi, with a package!
1 bag makes one litre of mugicha. I make 4 bags to a gallon.