Can alcoholic drinks fall from trees?
Wood as it already has so many uses but researchers in Japan have discovered yet another new use for it that could bring some good news to drink lovers all over the world: wood can now be turned into booze.
The researchers have developed a technique for making alcohol by fermenting wood leading to the creation of the first wood liquor.
Bioethanol is also, of course, an alcohol made from wood and has long been a source of fuel. However, it is made using heat and sulphuric acid which makes it unsuitable for drinking.
The technique developed for making liquor does not need such a harmful substance or heating, which also takes away the unique scent of the wood used. The alcohol is instead made by adding water to the wood chips, grinding them with the use of a food-processing machine until the content turns into liquid. Enzymes and yeast are also added to ferment it before it is distilled.
The process takes two weeks and the final product is a liquid with an alcohol content of 20 percent and the unique aroma of the ingredient wood.
The technique developer, Yuichiro Otsuka, said: “We can find a new appeal in trees if we can create a tasty alcoholic drink from them. It will help promote the forestry industry, too.”
For one, alcohol made from cedar has a refreshing smell, while those made from birch has a fragrance found in whiskey or brandy matured in wooden barrels for a long time. Cherry tree alcohol on the other holds a sweet smell.
The safety of the wood liquor is yet to be confirmed, though, yet the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute hopes people will be celebrating the idea soon.
While it is still analyzing the content of the alcohol, the institute is planning to commercialize the beverages by partnering with businesses.