Spiced citrus cider made from Kuroshima Mikan now available in Kagoshima

PUBLISHED Nov 17, 2021

Shingo Hidaka (left) and Ryuichi Mitsudome (right) promoting the product

On November 11, the Mishima Village Tourism Association released MISHIMA BOTANICAL CIDER, made from Kuroshima Mikan grown on Kuroshima Island in Mishima Village, Kagoshima Prefecture. Mikan is a variety of citrus fruit similar to tangerine oranges.

Mishima Village is located roughly halfway between the southern tip of the Satsuma Peninsula and Yakushima Island and consists of three islands: Takeshima, Iwo Jima, and Kuroshima. The Kuroshima Mikan grown on Kuroshima is said to be the original species of Sakurajima Komikan, Kagoshima’s specialty crop, and has a strong aroma. “The islanders use it to flavor fish dishes and shochu,” said Shingo Hidaka, the director of the association.

MISHIMA BOTANICAL CIDER is a bottled carbonated beverage made by adding eight spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom, and cane sugar to the Kuroshima Mikan extract. Ryuichi Mitsudome of Tenderly, a company that specializes in product and menu development, created the product.

The logo on the bottle uses a modern font in white and a combination of green, yellow, and red as accent colors, which reflects Mishima Village’s history of interaction with the Republic of Guinea in Africa through the traditional percussion instrument, the djembe. Mitsudome said, “We aimed to create a design that can be recognized throughout Japan and the world.” He also explained that Kuroshima Mikan is still not well known, so they wanted to create a design that would make people interested in the ingredients and the place of production.

The label comes with instructions on how to enjoy it — it recommends slowly turning the bottle over 180 degrees before drinking. “When the spices settled at the bottom have separated and evenly distributed, it is time to drink,” said Hidaka.

1,500 bottles are available this year. Hidaka added: “Next year, we would like to increase the production and establish it as an industrial sector of Mishima Village. I hope it will be a good opportunity for people to learn about Mishima, which is full of tourism resources — visitors can enjoy an active volcano, hot springs, and the festival of Masked Mendon deities, which was officially added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.”

MISHIMA BOTANICAL CIDER is available in 200ml bottles, and the suggested retail price is 380 yen. It is currently sold at the Mishima Village Tourism Association and several other locations in Kagoshima City.