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, spirits and sake that’s in stock. It’s cozy, intimate and charming and enables revelers to really connect with their servers. This particular establishment is in Tokyo’s Nombei Yokocho (“Drunkard’s Alley”), in the Shubiya district.
Previews of Canvitational and Hong Kong’s Beertopia craft beer fests & Amazon preps alcohol delivery
Indianapolis cranks up the metal, Hong Kong will be awash in beer and Amazon wants to be Seattle’s new best friend, all on the latest episode of the Drinkable week.
The Drinkable Globe will present one photo from a different part of the world each day, designed to inspire you in your worldwide beverage pursuits. And if you can’t get there on a plane, you can get there in spirit with a glass. Today’s image takes us to Hitoyosi-City in the Kumamoto Prefecture, on the southern island of Kyushu. You know you’re on Kyushu when you walk into a supermarket that looks like this—entire aisles dedicated to shochu. Kyushu boasts the greatest concentration of shochu producers among all of the home islands and is, therefore, the center of the shochu universe. Kumamoto is best known for its rice shochu, while you’re most likely to find sweet potato shochu in Kagoshima and soba (buckwheat)-based shochu in Miyazaki. In others, you’ll likely discover barley, sugar cane and even sesame shochu.
After a bit of a hiatus, the video featurettes (vide-ettes?) return with the first of several shot in Japan. Ever drink saké with fish parts in it? Unless you accidentally dropped a piece of sashimi in your cup (happens to the best of us), the answer is “probably not.” A tiny, hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Osaka serves up a hot saké with a very curious (and surprisingly not deadly) ingredient. Give it a watch; it only takes a minute.
When I was in Singapore and Vietnam about a year and a half ago, I shot a silly little video for beverageworld.com on the burgeoning beer scenes in the two countries. OK, burgeoning is accurate for Singapore. For Vietnam, I’d call it embryonic. (And they still put ice in their beer. It’ll probably take a couple of generations before the locals stop doing that. Old habits don’t just die hard there. They die extremely slowly.)
I can’t embed it here, I can only link it. It wouldn’t be too pleasant if my place of employment sued me copyright infringement.
Enjoy…It won’t win any awards or anything, especially since I had serious microphone issues—as you’ll soon hear—during the Singapore interview. But, at the very least, shooting the video made for a handy little tax deduction.