Kagemusha means “shadow warrior” … and was the title of a 1980 Akira Kurosawa film. The shochu gets its name from the black koji and robust imo flavor. The sexy black bottle & black label with gold and red trim add to the mystique.
EDITED September 19, 2016 to update schedule and locations.
As I promised, exciting things are happening here at Kampai.US for 2016 and beyond. First off, “Shochu Tuesday” is no longer. Not only does that limit us to Tuesday, but it’s also not a particularly clever name.
Fortunately, my Japanese shochu-loving friends, especially Noriyuki Yamashita, of Glocal Bar Imo Vibes, are more creative and also have a distinct linguistic advantage when it comes to this. In Japanese “tu” is pronounced “chu” – so Tuesday would be pronounced “Chuesday” – which is a short slide into “sho-chuesday” and with a bit of brainstorming with friends, we’ve settled on Shochu’sday, because every day is shochu’s day … or something like that.
Anyway, beginning in January 2016, our new and improved shochu happy hour, Shochu’sday, will be every week or so somewhere (unless otherwise noted). The most up-to-the minute information will always be available on Twitter @KampaiUS, but we’ll be updating on our events page here on Kampai.US and as always the event will be listed on the Izakaya Hunters page on meetup.com. We’ll also keep it posted on the Kampai! group page on Facebook.
Note, times, days, and drink specials will fluctuate based on the preferences of the izakaya, bar, or restaurant.
So here is the line-up for 2016.
Tuesday, January 5th 7-9pm at Uminoie (86 East 3rd Street), the best little shochu bar in NYC.
Tuesday, January 12th 7-9pm at Hagi 46 (358 West 46th Street). Sake Bar Hagi, the basement izakaya steps from Times Square that magically moves you to Tokyo, has opened a 2nd location in Hell’s Kitchen.
Tuesday, February 2nd 7-9pm at Bara (58 East 1st Street), a French-Japanese restaurant with a Momofuku alum in the kitchen.
Tuesday, February 16th at ROSE in Hita, Oita, Japan.
Wednesday, February 17th at Glocal Bar 芋vibes in Kumamoto, Japan.
Tuesday, February 23rd at Lucky Cat (232 East 53rd Street), a motsunabe izakaya in Midtown East. This Shochu’sday will be focused on chu-hai.
Tuesday, March 1st, 7-9pm at Shalom Japan (310 S 4th St, Brooklyn). Shochu’sday moves to Brooklyn for the first time with $5 glasses of shochu.
Tuesday, March 15th, 7-9pm, Shochu’sday at Uminoie (86 East 3rd Street). This is to celebrate White Day, the uniquely Japanese post-Valentines Day holiday in which men give chocolate to women so bring your chocolate and note this is on Tuesday March 15th, not Monday, March 14th!
Wednesday, March 23rd, 6-8pm, Shochu’sday Takes Seattle! We will be at Poppy Restaurant in Seattle, Washington.
Monday, March 28th, 6-8pm, at Seki Sake Club at Bar Seki (365 W 46th Street). A special Shochu’sday at the new, cool Seki Sake Club organized by sake sommelier Yasu Suzuki and sommelier Rick Zouad.
April 12th, Shochu’sday with Mizu Shochu @ Kinjo in Fort Greene, Brooklyn!
April 19th, Shochu’sday @ Daikaya in Washington, DC (5-7pm)
Tuesday, May 3rd, 6-8pm, at Hagi 46 (358 West 46th Street) We return to Hagi for our first Shochu’sday in May.
Tuesday, May 10th, 7pm-10pm, at Uminoie (86 East 3rd Street). A very special Kumamoto Earthquake Relief Shochu’sday with drink specials, prizes, and all around love for Kumamoto (and Oita) Prefecture(s).
Tuesday, May 17th, 8pm-11pm, at The Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn) Shochu’sday joins SUMO STEW #7. $50 ticket (follow this link) gets you food and drink and sumo wrestling on the big screen!
Monday, May 23rd, Shochu’sday at Seki Sake Club (365 West 46th Street) We will pour rice shochu in a variety of styles to show sake drinkers how they are different and how they are similar.
Tuesday, June 7, 5:30pm-7:30pm, at En Japanese Brasserie (435 Hudson Street) We will pour selected shochu and chef Abe Hiroki has prepared some Kyushu inspired bar snacks.
Tuesday, June 28th, 6pm-9pm, at Azasu (49 Clinton Street). We will pour shochu at Azasu, a sumo-themed izakaya.
Tuesday, July 12th, 6:30-8:30 at Hagi 46 (358 West 46th Street) We return to Hagi for our first Shochu’sday in July. Come watch the MLB All Star game afterward!
Tuesday, July 19th, 8pm-11pm, at The Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn) Shochu’sday joins Sumo Stew #8 where guest bartenders Bill Gunther and Michael Rico fill in for Stephen who will be out of town. $50 Tickets available here!
Wednesday, July 27th, 5:30pm-7:30pm, at En Japanese Brasserie (435 Hudson Street) Two shochu makers visit from Japan for this very special edition of Shochu’sday at En.
Tuesday, August 9th, 6pm-8pm, at Hagi 46 (358 West 46th Street) Hagi seems to be both popular and a good place to host these so we’ll keep going back periodically.
Tuesday, August 16th, 7pm-9pm, at Donburiya (253 West 55th Street) This is our first visit to Donburiya, a classic izakaya in brand new digs. We can’t use the front bar so this will be a sit down meal with friends and drink specials.
Tuesday, August 30th, 6pm-8pm, at Jimmy’s No 43 (43 East 7th Street) Shochu’sday breaks out of the Japanese bar scene with this first visit to a classic craft beer bar. We’ll be at the back bar.
Tuesday, September 20th, 7pm-9pm, at Soba Totto (211 East 43rd Street) This was originally expected to be at SakaMai, but we will actually be at Soba Totto where Stephen & Sayaka Takahashi (head bartender at Soba Totto) will introduce bachiwari, a unique, refreshing version of shochu service.
Tuesday, October 4th, 7pm-9pm, at Uminoie (86 East 3rd Street) We return to Uminoie, the best little shochu bar in NYC, where we will take over the back tables and enjoy comfort food and shochu in a comfortable setting.
The idea is to introduce shochu lovers to new izakaya and restaurants around NYC and for the patrons of those places to be introduced to shochu. So please come out to enjoy and bring friends. After all, the whole point of izakaya is a great time with friends.