Shochu Reviews

Tantakatan Shochu Review: You Won’t Be A Fish Out Of Water With This Delicate Drink

TAN TAKA TAN 750ml 720ml 2020 Monde Selection Gold Award

In terms of ingredients, shochu may well be the most diverse spirit on the planet. Japan’s best kept secret can be made from lots of unusual substances. I’ve gravitated to more niche varieties of shochu and Tantakatan shiso comfortably sits in that camp.

A shochu with a fishy tale behind it, there’s a lot to enjoy about this delightful drink.

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Pop Culture and Japan

Exploring The Current State Of The Sake Industry In 2021 And Beyond

Domestically and internationally, sake has experienced a rise and fall across a period of several decades. Trends have come and gone, attitudes have shifted and a pandemic has caused a huge impact on how sake is sold, consumed and shared all over the world.

The Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association (JSS) recently hosted an event that showed the current state of the sake industry and how it could evolve over the coming years.

Iin this article, we’ll look at the key takeaways from the event.

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Japanese Cuisine

Okinawa Sunshine Cocktail Recipe: Celebrating The Stories And Spirits Of Okinawa

Okinawa Sunshine uses Yokka Koji awamori and Cor Cor rum.

When it comes to cocktails, Japan is an authority in pushing the boundaries of mixed drinks and coming up with new creations. It’s a drinks culture build on innovation, high-quality craftsmanship and storytelling. 

The kind of flavours that can be achieved with Japanese ingredients is truly awe-inspiring and it’s fun to experiment with different combinations to see what happens. That’s why I wanted to create a Japanese cocktail that plays with different tastes, so here is a recipe for Okinawa Sunshine.

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Pop Culture and Japan

6 Amazing Facts About Awamori

Japanese spirits are steadily increasing in popularity, with more consumers being willing to try new drinks and learn about the history of the beverages. Despite this, there is still a lack of awareness about what makes spirits like shochu and awamori unique, especially the latter. 

Awamori is generally lumped into the shochu category, but it stands alone with its own special history and importance. With that in mind, here are six amazing facts about awamori to demystify this ancient spirit.

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Pop Culture and Japan

Delving Into The 5 Main Styles Of Shochu

In recent years, the spirits category has experienced great change, with vodka, whisky and gin having their time in the sun. In an age where consumers are becoming more open to trying new experiences, there’s an exciting opportunity for new spirits to move into the limelight and Japanese shochu is at the forefront of the conversation.

Japan’s national spirit is made from a wide range of starch-based starters that are combined with koji and water to produce distilled alcohol. Let’s take a look at the five most common styles of honkaku {single-distilled) shochu.

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Book Reviews

The Japanese Sake Bible Review: Comprehensive, Entertaining And Unputdownable

The Japanese Sake Bible.

Sake is the heart of Japan. It’s magical, mystical and historically rich. It tells of stories that are thousands of years old and the tireless efforts of master craftsmen brewing fantastic booze. It’s a bridge between worlds, connecting western drinkers with a beverage that opens up a whole new world of drinking opportunities. It’s transformative, always changing, altering perceptions wherever it’s experienced.  

Sake is all of these things and more. Brian Ashcraft’s The Japanese Sake Bible does an exceptional job of capturing all the qualities that make nihonshu one of the most diverse and exciting drinks in the world. Chock full of detail from leading sake brewers and poetic tasting notes, The Japanese Sake Bible is perfect for anyone who wants to worship at the altar of nihonshu.

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Guest Posts · Sake Reviews

Guest Post: Hati Hati Junmai From Morikuni Sake Brewery Co. Ltd Review

Morikuni Shuzo are clearly a sake brewery that like to do things differently. In a world dominated largely by companies established hundreds of years ago and proudly narrating their rich histories on their websites, this small brewery (founded in 2005) has had to carve out its own quirks.

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Pop Culture and Japan

A Recommendation Guide For First Time Sake Drinkers From 6 Industry Experts

Sake is a wonderful drink. Versatile, sessionable, complex and simple, all of these words sum up what sake is, even when it might sound contradictory. That’s the beauty of an industry that produces a range of styles suited to different palates.

Falling down the nihonshu rabbit hole can be a rewarding experience, as it provides a window into centuries of Japanese craftmanship. But before setting off on that journey, it’s natural to ask ‘where the hell am I meant to start?’ Good question.

If you’re thinking of trying sake for the first time, here’s a list that’s been put together from experts across the industry.  With detailed tasting notes and a background of different breweries, you’ll come away with a deeper appreciation of Japan’s national drink.

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Pop Culture and Japan

The Pop Culture Pub Crawl: Wolverine (Part 2)

The Pop Culture Pub Crawl highlights the drinking habits of different superheroes and Wolverine has a reputation for being one of the booziest members of the X-Men. Wolverine’s love of Japanese culture is one of his defining traits, so let’s take a look at the type of hooch that he’d drink when out on the town in Japan.

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Guest Posts

Guest Post: The Challenges Of Making Sake Outside Of Japan (Part 2)

This follow up article builds on the two areas – “ingredients and equipment” – previously investigated which continue to cause challenges to international sake breweries, often leaving their owners scratching their heads, and reaching for their cheque books.

So, assuming you have your brewery now built and all the ingredients to hand, ready for that first fermentation, can you confidently fire up the rice washer and steamer with enough knowhow to make even a passable end sake?

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