We serve Baleia with a garnish of dehydrated Yuzu lemon and a sprig of lemon thyme. Both are grown here in the Azores, where the yuzu’s are exclusivly grown for Baleia Gin by just 1 farmer on the island. Yuzu is not a typical lemon, in fact it is not a lemon at all. It is instead a completely separate citrus fruit. It is thought to have originated in China, but the fruit is most closely identified with Japan, where it is one of the nation’s essential aromas and flavors.
Yuzu is sour, tart, very fragrant and slightly smaller than a snooker ball. The intensity and aroma of fresh yuzu is incredible. Yuzu is a citrus that isn’t eaten straight, but is used as a souring ingredient through the use of it’s juice and zest. The flavor, fragrance and taste is unique, reminiscent somewhere between a classic Eureka lemon and an oro blanco grapefruit.
From the NY Times: “Treasure” is not much of an overstatement when it comes to yuzu. The knobbly-skinned Japanese fruits are among the most exquisite members of the citrus family: more floral than an orange and nearly as tart as a lime. “The yuzu fragrance is entirely its own,” Shizuo Tsuji, a titan of Japanese gastronomy, wrote. It “resembles no citrus familiar to the West.” It is the perfect garnish to go with your Baleia & Tonic as the yuzu sets your palette against the saltiness of the ocean sourced seaweed.