Shochu Misc....

Sakaya
Sakaya, which means "sake shop" in Japanese, is a small, elegantly designed shop in New York City's East Village. It's just a few minutes walk from many of the popular izakayas and ramen shops in the neighborhood. The extensive selection of sake (nihon-shu) is curated by a husband and wife team - Hiroko Furukowa & Rick Smith. Their tastes are impeccable and their weekend sake tastings are a "must try" event when in the neighborhood on a Saturday afternoon. Read More...

Kusu Awamori
Kusu, or old spirit, is an Okinawan Awamori aged at least 3 years. According to Japanese law the youngest spirit in the bottle must be at least 3 years old - Awamori producers have a long history of mixing older spirits with younger spirits as the older spirits are consumed. Read More...

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...

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