Celebrating Shochu | Visiting Bartenders and New Featured Cocktails
Thrilled to join JFOODO and eight other notable local bars in offering Shochu Month exclusive cocktails and events from January 18 – February 17, 2024.
Shochu is a pure, clean and expressive spirit that makes use of a variety of traditional ingredients from Japan’s long history to create an appealing range of aromas and tastes. Shochu is typically made from sweet potatoes, barley, rice, or black sugar, and though each type has a distinct flavor depending on its base ingredient, the general taste is often described as nutty or earthy, with an ABV of around 25%. Shochu can be interesting to categorize compared to other spirits due to the wide range between all the different varieties, but the more understanding about the properties of each base ingredient, the greater the potential for enjoyment.
During the month, Redbird | Vibiana Bar Director Tobin Shea and team are adding two new cocktails to the menu. The Bankan Highball, an interpretation of JFOODO’s signature drink, brings out the fruity aromas of Diaymane 40 shochu, along with grapefruit cordial and citrus soda. Secondly, The Golden Gai, is a martini-inspired cocktail with rich umami flavors from the Satsuma Shiranami Genshu shochu plus Cocchi Extra Dry Vermouth, Cap Course Blanc Kina and umeshu liqueur.
In addition to these celebratory additions to the cocktail menu, the team is excited to welcome two guests bartenders for special events this month.
On Saturday January 20th from 5pm – 7pm Shuzo Nagumo from Japan will be mixing shochu cocktails at the bar in the Main Dining Room and Lounge. This public event is first-come, first-served and no RSVP in advance is required. Nagumo was named one of the greatest bartenders on earth by “Bar World 100” and is a trailblazer in concepting shochu cocktails. He is currently Tokyo’s leading mixologist and the owner and manager of multiple bars including code name MIXOLOGY akasaka.
A further “Shochu Night” event will be held in the Garden on February 6th from 7pm – 10pm with guest bartender Takuma Watanabe, one of the founding members of Bar codename Mixology and current head bartender at Martiny’s, named Tales of the Cocktail’s Best New US Cocktail Bar 2023, No.29 on North America’s 50 Best Bars list and No.68 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. Takuma will collaborate with the bar team on unique shochu drinks, plus passed hors d’oeurves from Chef Neal will be offered. This ticketed event is open to the public with advanced purchasing on Tock below. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Other participating bars in a variety of capacities for Shochu Month include Death & Co, Steep, Employees Only, Thunderbolt, The Lincoln, The Semi-Tropic, Gold Line and Accomplice Bar. For more information, please visit https://japan-food.jetro.go.jp/shochu.