Discovering Shochu: Episode 9 – Awamori & Kokuto Shochu

Awamori shochu of Okinawa is the oldest form of distilled liquor in Japan, and is known to be the origin of shochu. Among all shochu, Awamori is rather unique.  It uses Thai-harvested long grain rice, and through adding black koji, it converts the entire ingredient base into an all-koji base.  Furthermore, Awamori goes through a […]

Discovering Shochu: Episode 8 – Soba Shochu

TOWARI A unique shochu distilled only from Soba (buckwheat).  Savor the natural and rich flavor of 100% Soba Shochu. Enjoy TOWARI’s authentic flavor and aroma on the rocks, straight or with soba-yu wari soba water (water left in the pot after boiling soba). Distilled & Bottled by:  Takara Shuzo, Miyazaki, Japan 25% Alcohol by volume […]

Discovering Shochu: Episode 7 – Shochu Cocktails

On October 15th, 2011 Mutual Trading held its 23rd annual Japanese Restaurant Show. With respect to the year’s theme, “Japanese Cuisine: Advancing More to Mainstream Popularity,” Shochu booths were set between Food vendor booths – recreating a real life drinking and dining experience for guests. Shochu can be a more affordable offering to guests, as […]

Sommelier Talk: Episode 13 – The Psyche When Drinking Sake

What goes through a person’s mind when they sit down with a glass of sake? Could it be on the flavor pairing and compatibility with the food just ordered? Is the sake to be a festive drink to share with family and friends, or perhaps for the purposes of simply relaxing the mind while appreciating […]

Discovering Shochu: Episode 6 – Kome (rice) Shochu

Kome Shochu is said to be the original – the first shochu ever made.  This month, DISCOVER shochu will feature the history, characteristics, food pairings and serving suggestions for Kome Shochu.   There are different theories of how Kome Shochu came about, but the most accepted version is that it started during the 16th century […]

Discovering Shochu: Episode 5 – Barley Shochu

Last month, the focus was on Imo Shochu – its history, characteristics, food pairings and serving suggestions.  This month, DISCOVERING SHOCHU will feature all about Mugi Shochu.   It is said that the roots of Mugi Shochu dates back to the Edo period, from Iki Island located between Kyushu and the Korean Peninsula. The island […]

Sommelier Talk: Episode 12 – Back to the Roots

During the last 60 years, from the Showa to the Heisei eras, ingenuity and technology advancements of unprecedented speed have improved machineries used in sake related research, development and production.  For instance, sake brewing steps spanning from rice polishing to koji and yeast production, have all improved greatly to ensure a top quality output.  Through […]

Discovering Shochu: Episode 4 – Imo Shochu (sweet potato)

The last three DISCOVERING SHOCHU articles have touched upon all ingredient types. The next few episodes will focus on each Shochu type, delving deeper into the history, characteristics, food pairings, and serving suggestions.  The first focus will feature Imo Shochu (sweet potato shochu).   Alike all potato families, Kansho sweet potatoes were said to have […]

Discovering Shochu: Episode 3 – Characteristics of Shochu by Ingredient

Honkaku Shochu, or traditional Shochu, represents Japan’s pride and true distillation art.  Moromi mash created using koji spores indigenous to Japan, and the use of single distillation yields distinct flavor characteristics and refined aroma highlighting the original ingredient.  And unlike many distilled spirits from around the world, there are various types of Honkaku Shochu differing […]