About Christopher Pellegrini
Christopher Pellegrini, author of The Shochu Handbook, happened upon shochu more than a decade ago, and his curiosity was piqued by the dearth of published information about it. Many years of distillery visits, palate refining, and test taking later, he became one of the few Certified Shochu Sommelier (SSI) to be born outside of Japan. He now spends his time conducting shochu and awamori tastings, writing for various food and drink publications, and consulting restaurants, bars, and distributors on how to bring these drinks into the fold.
A native of Vermont, Christopher was an accomplished pole vaulter and spent several years working for Otter Creek Brewing where he eventually inhabited the night brewing shift. Little did he know that his experience making good beer would lead him to a career in another high quality drink thousands of miles away. After a year in Spain and two in South Korea, Christopher moved to Tokyo, Japan in 2002, where a distinct lack of craft beer sent him straight into shochu's open arms.
He has since found a home talking about Japanese food and drinks for an international audience. He is the host of Japan Booze Blind and Ishokudogen, two web series that cater to Japan's culinary fans around the world. Christopher holds an MA in language education from University College London's Institute of Education, and is the English translator of the survival Japanese textbook Konnichiwa, Nihongo! He has also been published in print and online outlets such as Koe and Global Insider.