Sankei Biz reports on the launch of a new set of easy-to-use sake cocktail kits. Specifically, photogenic ones. (This is what the world seems to be coming to.)

The range of pretty cocktail kits is called Ponshu Gria, and producer FARM8 has released the five most popular flavours in a gift box: yuzu, peach, apple, lemon and kiwi. The kits are also available in strawberry, cherry, watermelon, rose and other flavours.

The kits come in a traditional glass cup like the ones you buy sake in at shops and convenience stores, but are pre-filled with dried fruit, beet sugar and peppermint. You then pour your favourite sake into the cup to instantly create your one-of-a-kind, ready-for-its-closeup cocktail. In what is starting to feel like an inevitable marketing ploy, the product is aimed at people who don't normally like sake and women who want to look cute while drinking it, with the ultimate aim of increasing the number of women who make it their regular drink as part of a new sake lifestyle.  (I wish I was making this up. Japanese marketing can be a bit of a blunt instrument.)

The FARM8 site mentions the decline of sake consumption in Japan in contrast to its increasing popularity overseas, with Japanese women and young people in particular abandoning their traditional drink. They based the concept on sangria, hence the name Gria. 

All the dried fruit comes from Japan, and the peppermint comes from FARM8's home town of Nagaoka in Niigata Prefecture. Refill packs are available with the dried fruit, sugar and peppermint, and they also offer customised cups for wedding thank-you gifts or other occasions. The product page emphasises that the kits make sake easy and stylish to drink, and trot out the old line about sake and good skin (not proven by a long way) - they even go so far as to claim it can make ladies' skin whiter, if that's what makes you happy. (There's a blanket assumption that it's what women want, and no sources cited as you can imagine.) They also recommend adding ice or soda to dilute the sake and make the resulting cocktail lighter if alcohol doesn't normally agree with you.

Dericious & cute, as they say. If you don't mind the dubious assertions and hard sell.

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