In 50th episode we have a little spirits Q&A fun with our hosts answering listener questions about topics ranging from underrated distilleries to Casper the Friendly Ghost.
Intro: Theresa Matsuura of the Uncanny Japan Podcast.
Theme Song: Begin Anywhere by Tomoko Miyata (http://tomokomiyata.net/)
Mixing and Editing and Interrogator: Rich Pav (https://www.uncannyrobotpodcast.com/)
CHRISTOPHER PELLEGRINI Vermont born and bred, long-time Tokyo resident and author of The Shochu Handbook, Christopher learned about delicious fermentations as a beer brewer at Otter Creek (Middlebury, VT). He now spends most of his waking hours convincing strangers that shochu and awamori are unlike anything they’ve ever tried before.
STEPHEN LYMAN discovered Japan’s indigenous spirits at an izakaya in New York City. He was so enthralled that he now lives in Japan and works in a tiny craft shochu distillery every autumn. His first book, The Complete Guide to Japanese Drinks, was nominated for a 2020 James Beard Award.
Stephen and Christopher enjoy fielding questions about their favorite drinks and just about anything else.
If you have any comments or questions about this episode, please reach out to Stephen or Christopher via Twitter. We would love to hear from you.
The Spirits Q&A Questions
GHOSTLY SPIRITS Q&A:
Sakamichi Brewing: What’s your favourite Yōkai?
Joe from the Ishikawa Summit to Sea Podcast: Which spirit is better, shochu, or Casper the friendly ghost?
DISTILLED SPIRITS Q&A:
Casey from the Beanpod Podcast: What’s your ‘holy grail’ of booze?
Casey again: If you could only drink one alcoholic beverage for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Craig Hoffman: Is there really that much difference in taste based on price, especially in the mid-range and mid-quality spirits in Japan? I feel I have often overpaid for some over the years.
Coffee or Shochu: For those traveling to Japan, are there any domestic / rare export bottles you would recommend to buy and bring home? We can assume space for only one or two bottles in a suitcase. It could be anything (shochu, whisky, rum, etc.)
Davey in Japan: What is the Goto drink on the shinkansen? I maintain beer but sake cups, chuhai, high balls, or drinking straight from the bottle all have their justifications.
Ben Harris: If could only drink one shochu/awamori for the rest of your life what would it be?
Joe from the Ishikawa Summit to Sea Podcast: Imagine you were buying a gift of shochu for someone who has never been to Japan and might not be used to the unique taste, what would you buy them and why?
Hakata Rick: In the way that fine wines are often paired with a certain kind of meal, would/could the same apply to shochu? If so, what are some of your personal favorites?
Ben Harris: In your opinion, what is the most underrated shochu/awamori distillery?
- Where should someone interested in shochu get started? Like someone living in the southern US who likes whiskey and bourbon. What advice would you give them to get their shochu journey started and what should they drink first.
- whats your end of year furusato nozei recommendations for shochu this year?
Armando Cornejo: Do you think there will be a proposal from the industry to abolish the no-color rule for shochu?
Daniel Avispa: Is it ok to mix shochu with a flavored soda to have as sodawari? E.g. a good quality lemonade, or are we heading into chuhai territory? (of course, its down to personal taste, but interested in your thoughts).
Greg Beck: How did canned Chu-hi start and why didn’t they come to the states to compete with inferior “hard seltzer”?!?
Note: we did not answer the 1st part of that. For how canned chu-hai started, please refer to our Chuhai Episode (episode 25), where we get into that history.
Daniel Morales: What rum do you recommend for winter cocktails?
Renee Lang: I remember drinking Suntory, but I don’t remember which was most single malt Scotch-like. Is it the Toki?
OTHER DRINKS QUESTIONS:
Casey from The Beanpod Podcast: What beer(s) have stood out in the past year of your running/beer catalogue?
Tavis Allen: Climate change and the spirits industry—Japan, globally—what are peoples’ thoughts/actions on the matter?
Michael Brock: have any peer-reviewed studies been done on this ヘパリーゼ stuff?
Chris Pearce (comment, not a question): Bourbon is the holy grail of booze. Thoughts?
Craig Fisher: You eat that?!
Your Yamatozakura “internship”—how’d you get started? Do you know how many other foreigners are similarly involved in making spirits in Japan? How can one get involved?
What do your families—immediate and extended—think about what you do? What do they drink?
Anagman: would either of you update your book with a new edition, and if so, how?
Jeff Cioletti: I want to put an Ocean’s 11 team together to steal the Satsuma Kiriko Christmas Tree outside Kagoshima Chuo Station. You in?
Random Brands Recommended on the Spirits Q&A
Keep them Coming
We enjoy your Spirits Q&A questions, so please keep on asking and we’ll keep on answering.
Leave a Reply