What could be better to start out Spring than a virtual trip to Okinawa? The beautiful islands in the Pacific Ocean off the southern coast of Japan? Unfortunately for New Yorkers, since Suibi in Midtown East closed a few years back, Okinawan food is not easily available. Fortunately for New Yorkers, some Okinawa lovers have persisted and they have decided to put on an Okinawan festival.
Just the title of this piece strikes me as odd. What is a shochu drinking champion? Fortunately for our livers, it's not the person who can drink the most shochu, but rather the person who can successfully match the most shochus from memory. And last week saw the crowning of the 1st ever New York Shochu Contest champion. Before we get to the winner, let's talk a little bit about the 1st Annual Shochu & Awamori Tasting Contest. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not an impartial observer. I was also a contestant.
The Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) & the Japanese Sake & Shochu Makers Association (JSS) put on a pair of stellar events in New York City on February 12th & 13th. We've already raved about Shochu Night Out, but the next day (Monday, February 13th) was Experience Shochu at Astor Wines.
In Manhattan on Sunday, February 12th nearly 300 people were treated to a taste of shochu from the hands of shochu producers visiting from Japan. Dinner guests at Inakaya, Robataya, and Sakagura were greeted with sixteen shochu producers sampling their products.
At Inakaya the producers were situated around the perimeter of the high ceilinged space where we tried old favorites such as iichiko, Zuisen, Jinkoo, and Kappa No Sasoimizu, but were also introduced to a new distillery – Komasa Jyozo from Kagoshima Prefecture, which now offers four new products in the U.S. Window’s Mugiichi and Window’s Migaki are mugi shochus.… Read More “A Great Night Out”
In another sign that shochu is becoming more popular in the U.S. we are being treated to the 1st ever New York Shochu & Awamori Tasting Contest featuring 10 shochu & 3 Awamori at 16 restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The contest runs February 6-11, 2012.