Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Terrace View - Shochu, the Next Big Thing

Do you know about Shochu? Shochu is a beverage from Asia, we see them mostly from Japan, South Korea, or Vietnam. It differs from sake in that Shochu is distilled and is made from a variety of source materials; rice, barley, or sweet potato are common. It is stronger than sake but has less alcohol than vodka, brandy, or whiskey usually coming in at around 25% alcohol (50 proof). We love it here at Windsor and it could just be the next big thing.

We currently have two bottlings to sample from:

Tombo Shochu ($14.99) is from Vietnam and is distilled from barley.

Yokaichi Kome Shochu ($16.99) is from Japan, distilled from rice, and is currently a favorite of the store staff. The aroma is reminiscent of sake, you can smell the faint sweetness of the rice, the palate is very dry and smooth.

These are both very smooth and easy to drink and they are super versatile. You can drink it neat, on the rocks, or enjoy a traditional way of drinking Shochu by mixing it with a little hot water, this brings out the fragrance and some of the distinctiveness of the source material. I like to sip small glasses with a meal and Asian foods are a great partner, you know "If it grows with it, it goes with it." Great pairings are tempura, teriyaki, yakitori, soba, grilled fish, stir fried noodle dishes, and dumplings.

Not to be overlooked is the opportunity to experiment with Shochu in cocktails, this is an exciting area and still fairly new ground. Shochu has a mild flavor and on it's own and mixes well with vermouth, bitters, and fruit juices. A good place to start would be with variations of classic vodka and gin based cocktails. Shochu negoni anyone?


1 comment:

  1. So what do you suggest? Should a newbie try this highest grade Shochu? Is there any side effects in this Shochu? spirit works distillery