Shochu is one of Japan’s most popular alcoholic beverages. It is a distilled spirits that can be enjoyed before, during, and after meals.
Dora Tauzin, from France, reports on a popular type called Honkaku Shochu: its ingredients, distilling method, and history. The program also features Ryukyu Awamori, a beverage from Okinawa said to be Japan’s oldest distilled spirits.
In addition, Shochu advisor Kaori Haishi introduces recipes of dishes that go well with shochu.
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One of the surprises of this shooting, was to discover how Shochu matches very well with different kinds of food. And it is also so much fun do decide to drink it this way or that way according to the dish. And of course, to decide which Shochu to drink.
It can go with cuisine as diverse as white fish, meat, and spicy food but also with very elegant refined Japanese cuisine. Although I must say the best for me was the mariage between the dark pork meat Shabu Shabu prepared in a divine way by the master… and the Imo-Shochu Oyuwari (with hot water). Excellent!
But I am French!! And to my great pleasure, Shochu and Awamori can match also with some cheese such as Brie or camembert. A “fromage avec Shochu”, that could be a good new trend in Paris!
It goes also very well with a quiche Lorraine or some mushrooms. In these cases, it is better to drink it straight, but at a cold temperature. Bon appétit!
After this shooting, I became a real fan of Shochu and now I drink it regularly, mainly on the rocks.
As a French wine lover (and connoisseur), I was eager to discover the world of Shochu, although completely different, but with a few common points.
The common point between wine and Shochu is that both can be enjoyed while eating. I had more the image of Shochu as an “apéritif” or “digestif” but it is a perfect drink to go along with your dinner. So before meal, after meal, or with meals, you have the choice. Is it a big difference compared to other spirits?
A higher alcohol degree than wine. Although it has quite a high degree of alcohol, it is a very delicate drink, with complex aroma and elegance. And contrary to wine, you can mix it with water, which makes it milder.
Once the bottle is opened, you can keep it for months and it still tastes perfect. And as far as the tasting is concerned, you cannot really compare the colour, but the aromas are very subtle. As for wine, it is nice to discover the Shochu first by its fragrance, its aroma. There are some fragrances you find in white wines or champagne. During the tasting (in the mouth), like wine, you have the different phases you can enjoy: the attack, the middle and the finish or even after taste.