Given MTC’s incredibly extensive catalog of Shochu I was able to taste and select some of my favorite products in rice, sweet potato, barley, and buckwheat Shochu. I wanted not only to highlight Japanese flavors, but I wanted to work with flavors that are actually available in Southern California. I found some beautiful mini kabocha squash, and fresh shiso which got things going.
I particularly appreciated the Iichiko Silhouette (Japan’s Best Selling Shochu – iichiko is a term from the Oita dialect of Japanese meaning “fine” or “good”), a 60% polish barley shochu which is excellent on the rocks. Also enjoyed the single distillation, brown sugar based Jougo Kokuto from Amami Oshima Shuzo Distillery – which has a beautiful nose and smooth finish.
A decidedly red clay take on the cocktails, with organic farmers market ingredients and hand crafted mixers.
‘Dreams of Jiro’, with ginger, maple syrup, and guava was the most popular cocktail of the event. Everyone kept walking over to the booth curious to find out what the smell was that was filling the air. I often find that people have a love hate relationship with Guava – here it was definetly love.
special thanks to Toshio Ueno, Somm and Master Sake Sommelier MTC