Shochu Misc....

okinawa
Most Americans have heard of Okinawa. There's been an American military base on the main island since the end of World War II. However, Okinawa as part of Japan is a relatively recent phenomenon. For centuries Okinawa was its own country, a cluster of hundreds of islands off the southern coast of Japan, stretching to within a few kilometers of the island nation of Taiwan. A rich culture with its on language, monarchy, economy, and culture. It was not and even today is not "Japanese". As a result of this long history of independence Okinawa has its own food & drink traditions. And that's what we're really interested in here at Kampai! Read More...

botte keep
Throughout the Kampai! izakaya reviews you'll notice frequent mention of "bottle keep" - a common izakaya service allowing customers to leave behind unfinished bottles of shochu for future visits. It's a great business strategy, encouraging more drinking and eating - once you've ordered a bottle you're more likely to stay longer - and more frequent visits since you'll return to finish that last bottle (and likely order another to keep again). Read More...

My first izakaya
This story isn't going to be entirely true. “My first izakaya” was not my first izakaya. The trouble was the first time I went to an izakaya, in 2003, I didn't know I was in an izakaya. Several more years would pass before I realized what exactly this style of dining was – what it meant to me – and why it felt like something completely different. Read More...

Satsuma Shuzo
No, there's nothing wrong with your monitor or my camera's white balance. The bottle on the left, Satsuma Otome, is a lovely pink shade that looks as if heavier pink liquid has settled toward the bottom of the bottle. This light (20% ABV) sweet potato shochu is squarely targeted at the burgeoning female shochu drinkers market. It's a lovely bottle and unlike anything I've seen here in the states with gender-specific marketing of shochu. Read More...

Seikai Ishizuka
Just the title of this piece strikes me as odd. What is a shochu drinking champion? Fortunately for our livers, it's not the person who can drink the most shochu, but rather the person who can successfully match the most shochus from memory. And last week saw the crowning of the 1st ever New York Shochu Contest champion. Before we get to the winner, let's talk a little bit about the 1st Annual Shochu & Awamori Tasting Contest. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not an impartial observer. I was also a contestant. Read More...

Experience Shochu
The Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) & the Japanese Sake & Shochu Makers Association (JSS) put on a pair of stellar events in New York City on February 12th & 13th. We've already raved about Shochu Night Out, but the next day (Monday, February 13th) was Experience Shochu at Astor Wines. Read More...

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