Japanese Cuisine · Sake Reviews

Nakajima Shiroku Yuzushu Review: Perfect For Sake Drinkers With A Sweet Tooth

nakajima shiroku yuzushu

In my efforts to learn more about Japanese culture, I’ve been trying a range of different drinks native to the Land of the Rising Sun. What I’ve come to love about sake is how complex it is. There are as many contradictions as there are questions about it. With so many different varieties, it’s interesting to taste sake based on the flavours and where it was made in Japan.

Dessert sake is an intriguing subset. Considered sweeter than other forms of sake, there are many bottles to try. Nakajima Shiroku Yuzushu is a dessert sake I tasted recently. Read on to find out what my thoughts are. Continue reading “Nakajima Shiroku Yuzushu Review: Perfect For Sake Drinkers With A Sweet Tooth”

Japanese Cuisine · Sake Reviews

Mio Sparkling Sake Review: Light, Airy And Pleasantly Sweet

Flavour variation is one of the most exciting aspects of the sake industry. From the fruity flavours of junmai ginjo, to the savoury textures of a well-made honjozo, sake has plenty to offer in the taste department.

In recent years, sparkling sake has emerged as a popular beverage for a younger generation of nihonshu drinkers. With a lower ABV percentage and lighter quality than other grades, sparkling sake is worth trying. Recently, I tasted a bottle of Mio sparkling sake and found it to be an extremely pleasant drink. Continue reading “Mio Sparkling Sake Review: Light, Airy And Pleasantly Sweet”

Japanese Cuisine · Japanese Whisky Reviews

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky Review: Slow Burn Sweetness At Its Finest

In an effort to broaden my understanding of Japanese culture, I’ve taken to sampling different types of Japanese alcohol. The brewing methods involved in Japanese alcohol are elegant, refined and complex, contributing towards some of the most multifaceted drinks on the market. This sophisticated brewing process is at the heart of why so many different types of Japanese whisky have become popular with western consumers.

Next on my list of Japanese whisky reviews is Nikka Coffey Grain. Made it the innovative Coffey Still that was developed by Aeneas Coffey in 1830, this type of whisky has an exquisite slow burn texture that is perfect for enjoying while sitting in an armchair in front of a roaring fire. Continue reading “Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky Review: Slow Burn Sweetness At Its Finest”

Japanese Cuisine · Japanese Whisky Reviews

Suntory Chita Single Grain Whisky Review: A Zesty Drink For A Younger Generation

Suntory has established itself as one of the greatest producers of whisky on the planet. The brand has a versatile portfolio, which ranges from fiery beverages like Hibiki Japanese Harmony, to smoother drinks like the Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve. Sampling new styles from Suntory has become something of a hobby for me and the latest whisky that I’ve tried is the Suntory Chita single grain. Refreshing, smooth and potent, this whisky is ideal for sipping during summer. Continue reading “Suntory Chita Single Grain Whisky Review: A Zesty Drink For A Younger Generation”

Poetry

Ginjo To Die For

I’ll never forget the day I walked into a Japanese restaurant

And saw people fighting over a bottle of nihonshu

It was carnage

Middle-aged women tossed cutlery at each other

While young bloods tussled around on the floor

Kicking, biting and squirming to get a taste

One diner even used her pearl necklace as a garotte

And when she’d stepped over the competition

She tried to lift the bottle until the veins popped in her head

(I don’t think she read the label)

Is there such a thing as sake in the stone?

I’m not sure

But it didn’t stop other contenders from trying

Each person crawled through the war zone

Determined to prove their worthiness

But the bottle refused to budge

In the wake of such overwhelming chaos

Where was I?

I was enjoying a sip of cold futsushu

Some drinks don’t have to be premium

Some drinks are worthy enough

Japanese Cuisine · Japanese Whisky Reviews

Hibiki Japanese Harmony Review: A Fireball Of Flavour With Subtle Notes Of Sweetness

Japanese drink making is revered for its attention to craftsmanship and detail. With each year, more and more western consumers are becoming interested in sampling the elegance of Japan’s finest beverages. Japanese whisky is an excellent example of the western world’s craving for unique flavours.  

Brands like Suntory and Nikka have been able to capitalise on this opportunity by introducing a range of whiskies to the UK, Europe and America.  As a newbie to the world of Japanese whisky, I’ve begun to explore different blends and one that has stood out is Suntory’s Hibiki Japanese Harmony blend. Continue reading “Hibiki Japanese Harmony Review: A Fireball Of Flavour With Subtle Notes Of Sweetness”

Japanese Cuisine

Roku Gin Review: Multi-Layered And Memorable

Japanese drinks are some of the most diverse beverages on the planet. There’s a certain craftsmanship that must be admired in the brewing process of Japanese alcohol. This can be seen in the amount of effort that toji, master sake brewers, put into the production of sake. The same level of care is given to other beverages like gin, and my favourite type happens to be Roku gin. Continue reading “Roku Gin Review: Multi-Layered And Memorable”

Book Reviews

Sake Confidential Review: A Phenomenal Guide For Novices And Experts Alike

sake confidential review

When it comes to Japanese drinks, sake is perhaps the most recognised alcohol. As simple as it is complex, sake is a beverage of many contradictions, and I didn’t realise how truly interesting the subject was until I picked up John Gauntner’s Sake Confidental: A beyond-the-basics guide to understanding tasting, selection and enjoyment.

Known as the ‘Sake Guy,’ Gauntner is the world’s leading non-Japanese sake educator, and his book is an amazing guide to sake novices (like me), and experts alike. Filled with informative facts and witty anecdotes, this book should be read by anyone who has even a passing interest in Japan. Continue reading “Sake Confidential Review: A Phenomenal Guide For Novices And Experts Alike”

Poetry

Toji

Every morning I awaken

to pickle my heart in sake

bury my fingers in koji

plant the sakabayashi above my door

until the bones ache

with the satisfaction of a hard day’s work

Futusu-shu for you, sir

try our Junmai, madam

here’s to your health

a cure for melancholy

distilled happiness inside kikichoko

ginjo-aroma on the breeze

the fragrance of life has never been sweeter

all your worries carried away for another night

surrounded by laughter, love and friendship

is the finest ikigai of all