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.

Continue reading “Kinjo Shiro Shochu Review: Sweet And Savoury Heaven In A Glass”

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.

Continue reading “Kaido Blue Shochu Review: A Savoury Crowd Pleaser From Hamada Syuzou”

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.

Continue reading “Fire Water Of The Kamuni: Burash”

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.

Continue reading “Creating An Original Cocktail: Wabi-Sabi Recipe”

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.

Continue reading “Chuko Yokka Koji Awamori Review: A Complex And Earthy Spirit Perfect For Whisky Drinkers”

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.

Continue reading “Flights Of Fantasy: Geralt Of Rivia”

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.

Continue reading “6 Amazing Facts About Awamori”

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.

Continue reading “Delving Into The 5 Main Styles Of Shochu”

Poetry

Can I?

Can I?

I ask myself this everyday

Can I?

Be someone proud

Can I?

Be someone who goes to Japan

A dream within a dream

Living outside

An existential crisis

Can I?

Live with being me

A contradiction 

Up and down

Travel or no

Paralysed

Frozen inbetween

Can I?

Be a father

A man to lead generations

Children who look up

To the guy who was meant to lead the way

I don’t know

I’m drowning

In indecision

I’m shattered

Pick myself back together

Can I?

Survive the pandemic

Living alone

It’s scary

I feel the weight

Unknown shadows

On my shoulders

Can I?

Be the man

Inside my mind

Samurai 

Connection to culture

Can I?

Keep moving

Uncertainty

I cry

Can I?

Breathe

I’m suffocating

Can I?

Live with myself

Can I?

Not be drunk

Making excuses

Can I?

Listen to myself

Find the answer

Can I?

Bear the pain

Move beyond suicide

Can I?

Explore Hokkaido

Eat ramen in an izakaya

Drink sake in a brewery

Be the gaijn in Roppongi

Dance awkwardly to K-pop

Dive into Kyushu

Drinking shochu

Can I?

Lie on a beach in Okinawa

Speak of the habushu myth

In bars with old men

Still trying to get it up

Can I?

Sip awamori

See kame

Melded before me

Can I?

Accept the things

That can’t be controlled

I don’t know

I’m trying

Forgive me

I will

One day

I see the dawn

Rising

Can I?

I can

Completed

A dream

Reality

The life I’m living

At last

I’m here

Peace

I’m living

A feeling

Without fear

Amazing

Clear eyes

Blue skies

The future is bright 

Shochu Reviews

Majo No Itazura Witch’s Kiss Shochu Review: Somewhere Between Liquid Roast Dinner And A Whisky Lover’s Dream

Majo no Itazura shochu.

When it comes to predicting the next big spirit, I believe shochu has the potential to take the world by storm and introduce consumers to a whole new range of flavours. There’s still a lot of education to be shared about Japan’s national spirit in the west and writing about it is my way of contributing to the shochu revolution!

One of the most unusual shochu that I’ve tasted recently is Majo no Itazura, a playful, potent drink that’s ideal for the colder months. Somewhere between a liquid roast dinner and a whisky lover’s dream, this is a drink that defies expectations and has plenty of backstory. Continue reading “Majo No Itazura Witch’s Kiss Shochu Review: Somewhere Between Liquid Roast Dinner And A Whisky Lover’s Dream”