Shochu Misc....

Ikkomon Imo Shochu
Somehow Hide Chan Ramen on 52nd Street between 2nd & 3rd Avenues in Manhattan only gets 3 Yelp stars. Yet this sister to Totto Ramen has the single best bowl of ramen I’ve ever had in my life … scallion ramen with buta kakuni (marinated pork belly). And even better, they have 4 different shochus available. I had the Ikkomon honkaku imo shochu. This Earthy imo went very well with scallion ramen. The oyuwari shochu in the stone glass (pictured) was a very relaxing finish to a very long work-day.… Read More...

I probably should have read up on basil infusion before I tried this, but I used the leftover Korean soju that a friend brought over since it was not fit for non-mixed drinks. I chopped some fresh basil and put it into an airtight jar with the leftover soju for 36 hours – the same length of time I infused the habanero peppers.   Result? Rancid soju. Not a hint of basil flavor. Just rot. Turns out I didn’t need to chop the leaves or pluck the stems – just drop the whole basil bunch into the jar. I… Read More...

Shochu Aisle at Mitsuwa
  Vast shochu selection at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater, NJ. Easily the largest shochu selection I’ve seen outside of Japan. Really impressive selection. What to choose?! I came home with: Gyokuro – a green tea shochu ($28.99) Jinkoo – a mugi (barley) shochu from the same distiller ($28.99) Kagemusha – an imo (sweet potato) shochu ($19.99) Akanone Ninjin – a carrot shochu ($34.99) Toki No Kokuin – a rice shochu ($24.99) Enma – a mugi shochu ($29.99) Akamaoh – an imo shochu ($24.99) This represents just a small portion of their selection. I see many, many trips back to Mitsuwa… Read More...

shochu v soju
More often than not when I introduce Americans to shochu, they almost invariably think I said soju, and unless they're indiscriminate drinkers they're not that interested in trying "soju" again. Like many Americans, I'd heard of Korean soju long before I'd heard of Japanese shochu. I suppose this is because in the U.S. soju is often available in Korean restaurants while shochu is rarely available in Japanese restaurants. Read More...

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