Yakitori Charcoal
If you’ve had yakitori, you know what a treat it can be. Grilled (yaki) skewers of chicken (tori) basted in a savory-sweet sauce or salted (shio) just so. Most yakitori places, at least in the New York City area, are drinking houses first and eateries second. Places like Kenka or Yakitori Taisho (and sister Oh! Taisho) or Village Yokocho. It’s telling that all 4 of those places are within a one block radius and all are within a few minutes walk from most of the NYU dorms. These are places to share pitchers of beer and simple food on the… Read More...
kurokame
Kurokame is a surprising imo shochu. Given the relatively modest price and the consistent imo shochu style, we expected another earthy, herbal imo. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – we enjoy imos of all types. This imo is made with “purple” Satsuma sweet potatoes. These potatoes have a robust reddish purple skin, but are a pale yellow inside. Read More...
Shimauta
As with most Awamori, Shimauta is a rich, flavorful, herbal spirit. An earthy nose hints at the flavor you expect from an Awamori. The warm mouthfeel promises a richness that does not disappoint. The herbal flavor is never overpowering, but also does not hide. There is the slightest hint of sweetness, but it is just promised, not delivered. The herbal (again) finish lingers into a buttery end. Read More...
Jinkoo Imo
Jinkoo, which means “perfect sky”, is a rich, lush imo shochu that has long been available on Japan Airlines (JAL) flights, at least for business class travelers. Which came first? The name or the JAL contract? This imo is distilled from Satsuma sweet potatoes from the Kagoshima Prefecture at the south end of Kyushu Island (Fukuoka is in the north of the island). Read More...
Tokinokokuin
Toki No Kokuin is an award winning shochu, reciving a Gold Medal at the 2009 World Wine Championships. This reflects, no doubt, the extremely neutral and easy-drinking nature of the spirit. This pure rice shochu is very easy drinking despite aging for 3 years in oak barrels. While there is very little English language information avialable, my guess is that these are virgin oak barrels as there is no hint of any other oak-aged spirit in the flavor. Read More...
shochudiet
The Shochu Diet started on a lark. I’d seen some photos of myself from a friend’s wedding and realized I’d gained more weight than I had imagined. It wasn’t so much that my weight had climbed, but that my fitness had declined. I’m normally very active with cycling, soccer, and tennis, but a broken fib lead to a torn meniscus in my right knee, which slowed my summer down considerably. I looked back at my Wii Fit history and found that on September 1, 2010 I had weighed 169 lbs. Exactly one year later I weighed 177 lbs. That’s not… Read More...

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