The classic gin fizz has a long pedigree in the sour family of cocktails. The drink’s first printed recipe appeared in the United States in Jerry Thomas’ post-Civil War 1876 edition of “The Bar-tenders Guide.” Like a sour, the template is a spirit accompanied by some citrus, egg whites and sugar — for the fizz, you just add soda water.

If you’re not a gin fan, though, what other spirit might tickle your fancy?

Late May last year, I saw those make-your-own-umeshu (plum wine) kits in my local supermarket and decided to finally give it a go. Just this past week, I’ve started to see those same kits return to shelves, which means it is finally time to crack my batch open and cheers to the onset of tsuyu (rainy season).