Pop Culture and Japan

Sake, Shochu And Drinks Galore: Launching The Drink To That Newsletter

Being in a bar or a restaurant is transformative. Venues like that are an intersection of new cultures, communication, excitement and storytelling. Drinks play a vital role in creating these experiences, with Japanese drinks like sake and shochu elevating nights out, intimate lunches and conversations with friends.

Sake is one of my favourite drinks. But it’s not the only thing that floats my boat. I’m pleased to announce the launch of Drink To That, a newsletter for imbibing knowledge, celebrating the hospitality industry and providing content marketing tips for drink brands.

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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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Shochu Reviews

Kinjo Shiro Shochu Review: Sweet And Savoury Heaven In A Glass

Kinjo shiro shochu review from Yamato Magazine.

Ever tried Japanese shochu? If not, you’re missing out on a world of incredible flavour and history. Yamato Magazine has become something of an evangelical space for Japan’s indigenous spirit and diving down the shochu rabbit hole continues with the beautiful kinjo shiro shochu from Takahashi Shuzo.

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Shochu Reviews

Kaido Blue Shochu Review: A Savoury Crowd Pleaser From Hamada Syuzou

Kaido blue shochu.

They say some drinks are an acquired taste and with shochu that rings true. Because once you’ve developed a taste for Japan’s national spirit, you’ll fall down the rabbit hole and want to discover as many varietals as your hands and wallet will allow.  

One of the latest drinks I’ve tasted on my shochu odyssey is Kaido blue from the Hamada Syuzou distillery, which is also responsible for the glorious Daiyame sweet potato shochu.

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Pop Culture and Japan

Fire Water Of The Kamuni: Burash

Japanese spirits like shochu aren’t that well-known in Western countries. But when you develop a taste for shochu, it’s easy to disappear down the rabbit hole and drinking the spirit has inspired the creation of a spirit for my horror world of The Frontier.

No matter where you come from on The Frontier, alcohol is the great equaliser, playing a vital role in religionpolitics and everyday life. The same goes for the kamuni, who use alcohol as a way to be closer to their beliefs, celebrate and mark important milestones.

A popular drink within kamuni culture is burash, a type of spirit that can be made from several ingredients and has a huge range of flavour profiles.

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Japanese Cuisine

Creating An Original Cocktail: Wabi-Sabi Recipe

Japanese cocktail Wabi-Sabi made with Inugami shochu and wasabi vodka.

There’s something magical about cocktails. A story to tell, new ingredients to mix, cultures to share with a wider audience. Japanese cocktail culture has an incredible amount of creativity, from the way certain drinks are made, to the passion of every bartender and mixologist who puts a new concoction in front of their guests.

It’s that kind of energy that’s inspired me to try coming up with my own cocktails. Introducing Wabi-Sabi, a cocktail that taps into the philosophy of transience as viewed through Japanese culture.

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Awamori Reviews

Chuko Yokka Koji Awamori Review: A Complex And Earthy Spirit Perfect For Whisky Drinkers

Yokka Koji awamori.

The world of Japanese spirits is truly fascinating, as it taps into centuries of tradition, culture and craftsmanship. Awamori channels all of those aspects into liquid form, as unique as Okinawa. 

All of the awamori distilleries in Okinawa are passionate about sharing their products and one of the most innovative brands is Chuko, who’ve created the awesome Yokka Koji awamori. I was recently able to get my hands on a bottle of the stuff and it blew me away.

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Flights Of Fantasy

Flights Of Fantasy: Geralt Of Rivia

Geralt of Rivia.

When it comes to sake, there’s something magical about drinking Japan’s national drink. The same can be said for shochu, which is produced from a huge range of ingredients that create different flavour profiles. 

Geralt of Rivia is a character who’d develop a taste for shochu and here’s a Flights Of Fantasy edition that showcases the kind of styles The White Wolf would enjoy.

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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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