After winning some awards on the international spirits circuit (including double-gold at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition), there's ample evidence that iichiko Saiten deserves serious consideration by bartenders everywhere.
My personal favorite iichiko brand available in the US is iichiko Kurobin. Kurobin is literally translated as "black bottle," which is a pretty on the nose description of this evocative packaging. It is simply too pretty to throw away after finishing.
Guest Maya Aley joins Stephen Lyman on this week's Instagram Live to discuss the Satsuma Imo.
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”