It’s nice to see shochu and awamori squeezing their way into more menus these days. It wasn’t so long ago that most Japanese-themed or -fusion establishments outside of Japan only stocked nihonshu (saké), but it appears that our favorite drink’s versatility is finally gaining recognition.
In many cases, that recognition comes in the form of cocktails. Mixologists across the United States and Canada are salivating over the possibilities afforded by a class of liquor that can be legally concocted from more than 50 base ingredients.
Here are a few places that have recently grabbed our attention because shochu features prominently:
- SATO in Buffalo (New York, USA) recently got some press when food and cocktail journalist Lizz Schumer (@eschumer) sampled their Hot Yuzu Bath. Even though it’s a strong drink, Schumer commented that “honey has a mineral sort of sweetness, and the gently bitter yuzu complements it well, adding a depth to the flavor profile that isn’t found in Western honey-lemon combinations.”
SATO also has chuhai cocktails on its menu as well as several bottles of honkaku shochu.
- The Woodstock Kushiyaki Bar will be opening soon in downtown London (UK) not far from Bond Street tube station (11 Woodstock Street). Meat on sticks (grilled or fried), shochu, decent beer, saké, and Japanese whiskey in an upscale, two-floor, urban izakaya setting.
- Chef George MacEwan has been hired to head Two Ten Jack’s upcoming location in Chattanooga (Tennessee, USA). The Nashville location is popular for its ramen and bar menu, and we assume that the shochu list will be expanded at the new restaurant.
We hope to get around to all three of these in the future, but if you make it there first then let us know in the comments.
And if you’ve been there more than once, then why not submit a review so that others know where to find good food and shochu?