TOKYO: Discerning drinkers may soon be able to branch out after Japanese researchers said yesterday they have invented a way of producing an alcoholic drink made from wood. The researchers at Japan’s Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute say the bark-based beverages have woody qualities similar to alcohol which is aged in wood barrels. They hope to have their “wood alcohol” on shelves within three years. The method involves pulverizing wood into a creamy paste and then adding yeast and an enzyme to start the fermentation process. By avoiding using heat, researchers say they are able to preserve the specific flavor of each tree’s wood. So far, they have produced tipples from cedar, birch and cherry. – AFP