Throughout the boom years, we tasted spirits distilled from just about everything—well, almost everything. The latest craze in Japan is a brandy made with mulberries… and silkworm dung.
Sansha is a collaboration between The Mitosaya Botanical Distillery and Antcicicada, and experimental kitchen. Although both outfits are based in Japan, the drink is inspired by China where silkworm droppings are regarded as a holistic health booster.
“Pulverized organic dry mulberry from AMBESSA was fermented for half a year and then distilled to make brandy, which is then blended with the spirits of silkworm, which is a digestion product after mulberry leaves have been eaten by silkworms,” according to Mitosaya. “It is an unparalleled product that uses two natural products created through seeds as one distilled liquor.”
“On the other hand, silkworm dung has been drunk as a traditional Chinese medicine since ancient times. It is written as “silkworm” and read as “sansha”, and it is said to be effective for improving blood flow, joint pain and abdominal pain.”
The press materials explain that the silkworms involved are sourced from Fujikawa-cho, Yamanashi Prefecture, Yohei Ashizawa. Drinkers are also assured, “It is a safe and secure silkworm that has undergone careful drying and heat treatment even after harvesting.”
According to the distiller, the spirit boasts a light green color and the aroma of mulberry leaves. Tasting notes also describe, “deep fruitiness, elegant fragrance like mulberry leaf tea with a slight earthy flavor, beautiful green like gyokuro is the color of silkworm.”
The eau-de-vie went on sale the final week of July. Mitosaya’s website already lists the stock as sold out. If you’re disappointed, you can always indulge in Antcicada’s last project, cricket ramen.