Pop Culture and Japan

Shochu Glossary: The Lexicon Of Japan’s National Spirit

Japan is known for having a unique drinking culture, best represented by sake/nihonshu in the west. But to leave out Japan’s national spirit, shochu, would be a massive disservice to the distillers who work tirelessly to produce one of the most versatile drinks in the world.

Education about shochu and its older cousin awamori is still lacking in western culture. But to help people learn more about it, Yamato Magazine has provided a glossary of essential shochu terms.

Continue reading “Shochu Glossary: The Lexicon Of Japan’s National Spirit”

The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: Christopher Pellegrini

The Kokoro Files shares the stories of people and their connection to Japan, and this edition is particularly exciting for me because I had the opportunity to chat with one of the world’s leading authorities on shochu, Chris Pellegrini. A Japanese spirit evangelist, Chris is passionate about spreading the gospel of shochu and awamori. He definitely made a convert out of me!

From talking shochu 101, to clearing up the differences between shochu and Korean soju, we cover a lot of ground in this interview. Read on to discover the exciting world of Japan’s indigenous spirit. Who knows? By the time you’ve finished reading you might be ready to jump down the rabbit hole.

Continue reading “The Kokoro Files: Christopher Pellegrini”

Pop Culture and Japan

Embrace The Awesomeness Of Awamori (Sake On Air Review)

Experiencing a new culture through the lens of food and drink is a great way to connect to a different part of the world without having to hop on a plane. If you ever plan to travel to Okinawa, it’s worth knowing about the island’s indigenous spirit awamori and its importance to local history.

But what exactly is awamori and how does it differ from other Japanese drinks like nihonshu and shochu? Sake On Air recently released an awamori episode that reveals why it’s worth trying this little known spirit. Continue reading “Embrace The Awesomeness Of Awamori (Sake On Air Review)”

Awamori Reviews

Harusame Kari Awamori Review: A Tsunami Of Flavour That Keeps On Building!

Harusame Kari awamori is rich, creamy, nutty and sweet.

Japanese spirits like awamori have some of the most unique brewing methods and flavours profiles to be found anywhere on the planet. Awamori comes from Okinawa and packs more of a punch than nihonshu and shochu with an ABV that ranges from between 30% – 43%.

Harusame Kari, produced by Miyazato Distillery, is a multi-layered drink that stacks oodles of flavour on top of each other. And the only reason I was able to discover it was by paying a visit to the UK’s first sake brewery Kanpai in Peckham. The stars had truly aligned for an awesome drinking experience. Continue reading “Harusame Kari Awamori Review: A Tsunami Of Flavour That Keeps On Building!”

Japanese Cuisine · Pop Culture and Japan

6 Of The Best Places To Buy Sake In The UK

Kanpai Brewery is one of the best places to drink sake in the U.K.

Japanese sake is experiencing a renaissance in the west. More information is available for demystifying Japan’s national alcohol, while sake-related organisations, breweries and sommeliers are breaking down misconceptions about nihonshu and experimenting with a variety of amazing flavours.

One of the most dynamic western markets for sake is the UK and there are some great places to get it if you know where to look. With that said, here are six of the best places to get your sake fix in the UK! Continue reading “6 Of The Best Places To Buy Sake In The UK”

Japanese Cuisine · Pop Culture and Japan

Experience The Magic Of The UK’s Sake Revolution At Kanpai Brewery In London

Kanpai Brewery in Peckham is a hidden gem and well worth visiting for the craft sake selection.

It’s an exciting time for the sake industry in the UK. A steady surge in popularity has led to consumers seeking more information about Japan’s national alcohol and one of the best places to start your journey into the realm of nihonshu is in the UK’s first sake brewery, Kanpai. Located in Peckham, Kanpai Brewery is the definition of a hidden gem.

Continue reading “Experience The Magic Of The UK’s Sake Revolution At Kanpai Brewery In London”

Awamori Reviews

Higa Zanpa White Awamori Review: The Perfect Introductory Drink To Okinawan Moonshine

Higa Zanpa White is a perfect introductory awamori.

Awamori is one of the most unique Japanese beverages in the world. Made in Okinawa, awamori shares similarities with nihonshu and shochu, but it only uses black koji mould and Thai indica rice in the production process. The result is a powerful distilled spirit that can go as high as a 43% ABV.

I recently had the pleasure of trying my first awamori at a Japan House London event that featured a tasting session of rare Japanese drinks. The Higa Zanpa White, created by the Higa Shuzo brewery, ranks among the most memorable tipple that I’ve drank so far! Continue reading “Higa Zanpa White Awamori Review: The Perfect Introductory Drink To Okinawan Moonshine”