I’ll talk your ear off!

Hey, looking for a booze expert for a lecture, guided tasting/dinner or any related drink-related speaking opportunity? Hit me up! I’m for hire. I’m also a Certified Sake Sommelier and Certified Shochu Adviser, if those strike your fancy. But I my expertise extends to a wide spectrum of distilled spirits and fermented beverages (including beer!)…

Tales of the Cocktail: Spotlight on Shochu

Shochu expert Stephen Lyman of Kampai.us brings us up to date on the Japanese spirit’s expanding presence in the U.S. market. Apologies for some of the audio on this one.

Shochu revisted

The more acquainted I get with shochu, the more I realize how much more there is to learn about it. It’s such an easy beverage to like, but not such an easy one to know. In 2015, I’ve traveled to Japan twice—mostly to the epicenter of shochu production, the southern island of Kyushu—with the express purpose…

The Drinkable Week: Japan through a glass

It’s the first “very special episode” of The Drinkable Week. (Grab the tissues and don’t do drugs, kids.) This week, I’m in Tokyo and in the Kagoshima and Kumamoto Prefectures experiencing shochu, the treasured spirit of the southern island of Kyushu. The itinerary, very generously organized by the Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association (JSS), included tours of…

Drinkable Images: Late night Tokyo

The Japanese drinking scene is serious business. There are plenty of environments in which to imbibe but, perhaps, the best place type of place end up after a crawl into the wee hours is one of the many 5-seat holes in the wall that fits only you, four friends, a bartender and whatever beer, wine,…

Drinkable Image: Kyoya Shuzo, Nichinan, Japan

Japan’s southernmost home island, Kyushu, is the center of the shochu-distilling universe. Kyoya, located in the town of Nichinan in Miyazaki Prefecture, is among the world-class Kyushu distilleries, blending tradition with modern technology. That brownish vessel is a traditional clay fermentation pot, which usually sits just below floor level, with its opening on the floor’s…