Hiyashiame (cold candy drink) (冷やし飴)

"Cold candy" drink or ameyu ("candy"drink) is one of Japan's traditional sweet drinks made from malt syrup dissolved in hot water with ginger juice or grated ginger added as a seasoning or flavoring agent. Sometimes cinnamon is added as a seasoning, according to taste. This drink is translucent liquid of a brown or amber color associated with beer or mugicha (barley tea), because it is made from malt syrup.

It resembles Sujeonggwa, a sweet drink made from dried persimmon in Korean Peninsula, and ginger ale to some extent in that it is a sweet drink with a flavor or taste of ginger (and sometimes cinnamon), but it is more different from either of them than might first be surmised.

The term 'hiyashiame' is used for cooled drinks served mostly in summer, and the term 'ameyu' is used for drinks served while hot or heated drinks in winter.

It is taken mostly in western Japan, particularly in Kinki region, however it is not taken or even known at all in many areas. It is as common a drink as iced coffee for people from Kansai region because it has existed since they were born.

In Kansai, it is often served at food wagons at festival, okonomiyaki (savory pancake) shops, udon/soba restaurants, tea stalls and tea houses. Furthermore, bottled or canned "cold candy" drinks are sold, and most bottled ones are concentrated so as to be diluted with cool or hot water when they are taken.

In Kansai, "candy" drinks, just like Amazake (sweet mild sake), are often offered to visitors at many temples and shrines during New Year's holidays.

[Original Japanese]