Researchers at Japan’s Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute have been testing ways to disintegrate and ferment wood and using it to make alcohol.
The process is different in creating the new beverage. Instead of using heat or chemicals, the 15% abv alcohol is made by pulverizing wood into a creamy paste and then adding yeast and an enzyme to start the fermentation process.
The process takes about ten days and at the end it creates an alcoholic beverage researchers say tastes like it was aged inside wooden barrels.
The cherry blossom, cedar, and white birch were chosen for the experiment due to how safe the woods are for human consumption. Having experimented with both brewed and distilled versions of the alcohol, the team said that the alcohol presents better as a distilled beverage, with 4kg of cedar wood producing around 3.8 liters of liquid.
The alcohol hasn’t been approved to drink just yet, but the institute aims to commercialize the product with a private-sector partner and have the liquor on shelves within three years.