“Tomy’s Cherry Brandy was like the syrup you put on ice cream. Except it had a bite to it. And it’d come in a little half-pint hip flask. And, uh, it was almost like syrup. So you’d get a half-pint of it and go stand at the railroad station, outside, waiting for your train to take you back up to camp Fuji. And you’d take a sip a that stuff was like pshew… boom. Haha and it’d warm ya all the way down. Never found it out here.”
“Well where was it from cuz Tomy’s doesn’t sound very Japanese?”
“Oh it was T-o-m-y-’-s. It was an Anglicization. So, it was all in Japanese. That’s where I got to like Kirin beer. They had nothing but the big bottles over there. They didn’t make the small size bottles. Only had half-quart bottles.”
Alcohol is one of the few products that has the honor of being consumed in some flavor and form all over the world. Every culture has their own version, flavor, and sources of ingredients. It has been a target of social, political, and moral ridicule and veneration. It is very much a cultural commodity. And like food, acts as a gateway to the nation it stems from, inviting its perusers to explore its nation’s other consumable commodities. Although my Grandpa was unable to find the cherry brandy here in the U.S., Kirin can very commonly be found here at least in Japanese restaurants, showing the diffusion of cultures into one another at some point in history.