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Japan UnderGround >> Shochu


10/31/04 7:07 AM
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Matt Banks
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Edited: 31-Oct-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 336
 
Hello, I have a few question about Shochu (japanese vodka). Does it have a taste which is very different from russian vodka e.g. Absolute vodka etc? What does it taste like? Is Shochu used in cocktails in Japan? i.e. if someone asked for a 'vodka and lemonade' would they add shochu? Is shochu a popular drink in japan? thank you very much for you help. sincerely Matthew
10/31/04 8:38 PM
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hamu86
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Edited: 31-Oct-04
Member Since: 08/17/2004
Posts: 13
I am no expert, but I like to drink: my lifetime goal is to crash one of those Sakuraba and Takada Dojo drinking parties you see on TV commercials. I could be wrong in spots, but let me try to help you here. "Does it have a taste which is very different from russian vodka e.g. Absolute vodka etc? What does it taste like?" Shochu is distilled like vodka (and scotch), but the basic ingredients can vary. Most commonly, it is distilled from one or more of the following: potato, buckwheat, barley, rice, and black sugar. Also, the alcohol content can vary immensely. On a related note, the Okinawans distill awamori, which is similar but generally higher proof and, if I'm not mistaken, restricted to rice. "Is Shochu used in cocktails in Japan? "i.e. if someone asked for a 'vodka and lemonade' would they add shochu?" If you ask for a -wari or -hai in Japan, it generally means that something is mixed with shochu. For example, you can get a lemon-hai or lemon-wari, or grapefruit-hai or grapefruit-wari. You generally don't want a good grade shochu for that. The other ways to enjoy it are the following: straight; mizu-wari (with water and ice); and oyu-wari (with hot water). Depending on the brand, some of them are great with other preparations. At one of my local hangouts, several of the regulars get O-ishi with soda water and a lime. And some are really good with ramune. But needless to say, if you ask for a vodka and lemonade here, they will give you a vodka and lemonade. "Is shochu a popular drink in japan?" Shochu is in the middle of a little boom. It's generally cheaper than sake and has a wider variety of flavors apprehensible to the casual gourmet. Shochu (and awamori) bars are popping up with greater frequency. And there is some medical evidence that shochu doesn't cause hangovers as badly as sake. At any rate, the cheaper convenience store stuff like Iichiko, etc. has always been popular for its cost performance. Now the more sophisticated, regional stuff is catching up.
10/31/04 10:03 PM
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SILK
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Edited: 31-Oct-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 3776
Matt - your profile says you train at RJW?? When did you start there? What days do you go? Their new gym is opening this week, innit? I used to go there every thursday night for the sparring. BUt now stick to WK Honbu. If you like your sub grappling come to Honbu on a Tuesday or Thursday night. Lets get some drinks after sweating.
11/1/04 6:46 AM
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Matt Banks
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Edited: 01-Nov-04
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 337
Hamu 86, Thankyou very much for your reply. It was a great help. Your reply told me everything I needed to know. all the best Matt SILK, When I was in Japan I trained at RJW and the WK hombu. The training was fantastic. I'm back in england, so I wont be in Iidibashi for a while. RJW is the best place I have ever trained. But when Im next in japan, it would be great to meet for a drink after training.

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