Tantakatan is an easy drinking shochu with distinct shiso notes and aromas, though it also carries a bit of seaweed funk in the nose. It's not as strongly shiso-flavored as you get form a shiso-infused shochu (Uminoie in NYC makes it in-house if you're ever hoping to try).
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.
Uminoie (Umi No Ie - "um-ee-no-ee-ay") is one of my favorite izakayas in the city for the simple fact that it's hard to find, easy to miss, small, relaxed, and feels like home. Like most izakayas, it's situated on a street rather than an avenue. I'm guessing this is because it keeps the rents down since customers tend to linger for a long time. What makes Uminoie special is that there is almost no signage. I had to go here 4 or 5 times before I knew where on the block it was. I've walked past it more than once while looking for it. For the longest time I thought it was on 5th Street (it's on 3rd).