sakamai
Shochu Tuesdays have a new home at SakaMai. If you've been following the site for a while, you know that these started at Izakaya Ten back in 2008 when I first discovered shochu. The experience stuck with me and corrupted me in ways I didn't expect. Read More...
ramen
Traditionally in an izakaya dining experience, you'll finish the night with a noodle or rice dish in order to fill up after the otsumami (small drinking snacks) courses. An alternative that's quite popular with many Japanese drinkers, is to stop off for a bowl of late night ramen. Typically these ramen shops will be packed with happily drunk people slurping bowls of soup while chatting boisterously with lots of laughter. Read More...
akamaoh
Akamaoh is one of those sweet potato shochus I find occasionally and for the life of me can't figure out why it's not everywhere. Since I drink it so rarely it doesn't always jump to mind when thinking of favorites, but time and again upon returning to it I wonder why I don't drink it more often. This white koji based sweet potato shochu is aged for one year in a clay pot (kame), giving it a sweet, mellow flavor profile. Read More...
kintaro
Kintaro is a premium barley shochu from Nishiyoshia Syuzou in Fukuoka, which I was fortunate enough to visit last summer. I'd sought them out for that trip specifically because of their fantastic barley shochus, which have only recently begun appearing in the U.S. They've yet to catch on, but it's only a matter of time. Read More...
theoddcouple
As I've delved deeper into the world of shochu, I've become increasingly interested in pairing shochu with foods. I first became aware of the differences when I began drinking sweet potato shochu with roasted meats and rice shochu with seafood. The shochu enhanced the food's flavors and the oils in the foods changed the character of the shochu. Over time I've found that some foods pair amazingly well with shochu while others are a complete miss. Read More...
guu
After visits to LA, SF, Chicago, and Vancouver my expectations for izakaya scenes in other North American cities had diminished. While the izakayas I visited in those cities were authentic and interesting, there were not many of them. Vancouver had the most robust scene with a half dozen or so izakayas in the city center including the delicious Kingyo and Guu outposts. Read More...

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