I love alcohol culture, especially in Asia. In Japan you can drink alcohol while sitting in a park, while strolling through the city, while riding the train–basically, drinking in public is a part of normal life. Interestingly enough, though, if you are caught driving after just one drink you will be arrested, your career ruined, and your family shamed.
I’ve taken my toddler to bars with me and no one bats an eye, whereas in the US I was sequestered to the family section of a chain sports bar when she was 3 months old because babies in bars is what? offensive? My husband and I have talked in depth about how to approach alcohol with our sidekick and we agree on the importance of not making it a taboo. She will drink it, so we will teach her how to do so responsibly. How can she learn to do so responsibly? Observing responsible adults drinking is certainly a start–even seeing those who take it too far could help her learn limits.
Anyway, tonight’s blog post is brought to you by the shochu I currently hold in my hand. I am willing to bet that the majority of people associate Japan with sake, but guys, shochu is good too!! It is generally made from distilled rice, sweet potatoes, or soba and every shochu drinker apparently has a favorite (according to my hubs’ uncles). To be honest, I have a hard time telling the difference. Our family and friends tend to go with Kurokiri, the package pictured above. It is one of, if not the most, popular shochus and can be found in every convenience store, supermarket, and Japanese style bar (izakaya). It is made from a mix of sweet potatoes and rice and comes in at a decent 25% alcohol content. I like mine mixed with ice and a little water. A lot of people will mix it with oolong tea as well. In my humble and very uninformed opinion it tastes similar to a weak vodka. It’s probably all in my head, but the morning after shochu is always a little easier than say beer or wine too. Try it and let me know what you think!
Annnnd bonus, because I’m feeling extra chatty tonight: Haagan Dazs’ new mochi (rice cake) ice cream series. Black sesame & walnut.
Okay, so looks pretty grotesque. But overall yum! The black is an extremely sweet black sesame sauce, which rests on a very slimy round slab of mochi (special rice that has been pounded and pounded until it forms a glutinous cake). Underneath is vanilla ice cream with a fair amount of small walnut pieces scattered throughout. Basically, the sticky, tasteless mochi was completely unnecessary. Mix that black sesame sauce in with the vanilla ice cream and walnuts and it would have been perfect. Also, Japanese ice cream cups are so cute and petite. I never feel guilty about downing it all in one sitting.
If you made it this far, thanks for sticking through it! In the future I look forward to learning about alcohol in India…I hear the wine and whisky is good.