Jougo was my first introduction to “black sugar” shochu. Black sugar is a richer, darker Asian version of western brown sugar. It contains molasses and sugar cane. And it’s delicious. If you can find black sugar in your local Asian market, pick some up and experiment with it as a replacement for other sweeteners. Jougo is smooth, sweet, and rounded. It lacks the complexity of many other shochus, but it’s easy drinking. It’s not as sweet as you’d expect from something distilled from a sugar, which is probably due to the spring water added at the end of the distillation process.
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Kokuto sugar is Japan's top-quality dark sugar tradition. It is one of the world's great "unrefined" sugars, and it's used in cooking, consumed as a snack, or added to the second fermentation when brewing kokuto shochu in Japan's Amami Islands.
Kokuto shochu is made from kokuto. Kokuto is a type of unrefined dark sugar that is made by pulping sugar cane and then boiling the juice for hours until it dries into blocks. Nutrient rich and more delicious than any brown sugar you have ever tried in the US, kokuto’s closest cousin may be muscovado.
Kokuto shochu can only legally be made in the Amami Islands between Kagoshima Prefecture and Okinawa. There are 28 distilleries producing products under 18 different brand portfolios. Ten smaller distilleries work together to make a single portfolio rather than trying to compete against the larger suppliers on the islands.… Read More “kokuto shochu reviews”
There are some restaurants that are destinations and others that are comfortable neighborhood joints where you feel like a local even if you're not. Menchanko-Tei 55 falls into the latter category. It's a narrow izakaya in a nondescript area of Midtown Manhattan. The appeal is that it is situated in a relative food desert for good Japanese, several blocks away from any other restaurant of note with the exception of Katsu Hana (upstairs from Menchankto-Tei). The varnished wood walls give the place a warm feeling with its semi-open kitchen along one side.