Kanmitsudo`s Original Otoso Ver.2022
Kanmitsudo`s Original Otoso Ver.2022(year of the Tiger)
Otoso (or toso) is an alcoholic beverage made by steeping several kinds of herbs and spices.
It is said that the practice of drinking otoso on New Year’s Day was started by Hua Tuo, a skilled Chinese physician during the Three Kingdoms period (184-280 AD), and records say the practice began to be adopted in Japanese imperial courts in 811, during the Heian period. Eventually, civilians also followed suit and the practice become a celebratory New Year ritual that is believed to ward away evil in the year to come and bring good health and happiness to one’s family.
Now, this practice has disappeared even in China where it first originated and is a tradition that only exists in Japan where it has been carried on close to its original form throughout the centuries, for about 1800 years.
How to make and enjoy otoso
1. On December 31, New Year’s Eve, take the packet* of otoso powder out of the bag and soak it in approximately 180ml of cold mirin or Japanese sake** overnight. The powder can be soaked in other alcoholic beverages of your choice, such as wine and whisky, but carbonated drinks are not recommended.
2. Drink the otoso before the first meal on January 1, in order from youngest to oldest.
The powder can also be used as seasoning for hot wine and desserts, and as garam masala for making curries.
*Do not tear the packet containing the powder.
**The amount of mirin and sake can be adjusted to your liking. Add more mirin to make it sweeter, and more sake for a dry flavor.