Kagoshima is the southernmost of the mainland prefectures, located on the south end of Kyushu Island, and about as far as you can get from Tokyo without being in Okinawa. How did this remote place known for Satsuma Imo become so central in the shochu world? Good question. Shochu has a history of about 500 years, so let’s start in the middle.
Every week Stephen Lyman & Christopher Pellegrini are coming to you live from Japan via Instagram Live for Shochu Pros Instagram TV. For each episode (weather permitting) one host will be "on location" somewhere interesting. The on-location host will give some backstory about the location and then the discussion will kick off. Once the topical discussion is finished, we will open the floor for questions from the live viewers. You can join through Christopher's instagram (or Stephen's when he is the host).
Humid evenings wearing a jinbei or yukata, fireworks over the water, and being reminded once again that old-school strawberry kakigori doesn’t taste much like strawberries at all. These are the indelible hallmarks of summer for many. But I am happy to propose a new addition, Japan’s summer shochu and awamori category.
Semi-officially known as natsu (summer) shochu, the seasonal sub-category is an industry newcomer, interfacing smoothly with the trend toward carbonated drinks such as chuhai and highballs. Summer versions of various sweet potato shochu brands have been joined on the market by rice, barley, kokuto, and awamori (also made with rice) to name a few.… Read More “Shochu for the Summer Months”
In this new and improved version of our website we are going to get lots of new shochu and awamori information up very soon with new writers including some certified shochu advisors from around the world.
Stephen Lyman has written the Complete Guide to Japanese Drinks, which was published in October by Tuttle. Find out more abou the book, where to buy it, and most importantly, where to meet Stephen to get your own signed copy as he travels Japan and North America.
I would not be exaggerating if I said there were chickens clucking in the yard with a 4x4 up on blocks, but this isn't the U.S., this is Japan, so instead there was a decrepit k-truck tucked under a tarp and a lithe cat warming itself in the sun. There was no activity, though I spied a middle aged man through a 2nd floor window of the old home. He quickly turned and disappeared from sight.