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Shochu Old Fashioned- 2 oz. Shochu, tsp. simple syrup, dash citrus bitters @HouseSpirits @SakeOne

Shochu Old Fashioned:

 2 oz. Shochu (House Spirits Uchi No Komi 48.04 proof)
Teaspoon simple syrup
Dash Scrappy's Grapefruit Bitters

Shake with ice. Strain. Serve on the rocks.

This cocktail was first made for us at House Spirits RPM night at Departure by Kyle Webster (formerly of Noble Rot, and currently mixing at Metrovino with Jacob Grier). Kyle explained that the addition of simple syrup was for balance, and that the bitters helped to open up the flavors of the Shochu. In the original, Kyle used Scrappy's Grapefruit bitters which I preferred, though lacked at the time of making this cocktail at home. Shochu is seeing a resurgence in popularity in the states as of late. This is evident in the growth of availability and selection of Shochu, as Japan's "poor man's sake", reaches more urban drinkers and acquires a cult following. This Shochu is the result of a "creative partnership between House Spirits and SakeOne.

"The collaborative project consisted of toting a few multi-staged moromis from Forest Grove to Portland where they were double distilled in our [House Spirits] copper Alambic pot-still, collecting just the finest of the heart cut"

2 oz. Shochu (House Spirits Uchi No Komi 48.04 proof)
Teaspoon simple syrup
Dash Homemade Orange Bitters

Shake with ice. Strain. Serve on the rocks.


Both cocktails do well adding ingredients to highlight the flavors of the Shochu while remaining true to the essence of Japanese simplicity. It is difficult to describe the nuanced flavors of the Shochu, "sweet rice" doesn't quite capture it.
This is do in part to the bounty of flavor and aroma compounds found in different varieties of rice. An excellent review on rice aromas and flavors can be found here. There are definitive malted notes at play, similar to a Genever minus the botanicals. Very smooth, slightly sweet and short finish with lingering citrus flavors from the bitters.

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