Web Toolbar by Wibiya

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.

Plum Blossom- 1.5 oz @housespirits Shochu, .75 oz Grapefruit Juice, .5 oz Creme de Violette @pdxcocktailweek @SakeOne

Plum Blossom:

1.5 oz. Shochu (House Spirits Uchi No Kami 48 proof)
.75 oz. Grapefruit juice (ruby)
.5 oz. Creme de Violette (Rothman and Winter)

Shake with ice. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass.

In the spirit (no pun intended) of Portland Cocktail Week which includes the Great American Distillers Festival, I wanted to create an original cocktail highlighting one of the many high quality local spirits Portland is distilling. This main ingredient in this cocktail is the result of a partnership of two of Oregon's best, House Spirits and SakeOne. The result of this partnership culminated in a limited release of Shochus at slightly different balances and alcohol levels. The one I am currently working with is the Uchi No Kami Shochu, comprised of Moromi of Koji and Milled Rice at 48.04 proof. Moromi is the fermenting rice mash, and koji spores (aspergillus oryzae in English) are propagated on the fermenting rice grains to eventually yield sake. The different stages of the koji growth will affect the overall result of the product, and the master distiller will select the optimal time to proceed to the next step in distilling. Multi-staged Moromis were brought from Forest Grove to Portland where they spent some time being double stilled in House Spirits copper Alambic pot-still "collecting just the finest of the heart cut."

The nose of the cocktail is a wonderful blend of floral and citrus aromas with vanilla, mallow, and pleasant fermented rice accompaniments. The sip is a delicate balance of flavors, and though the Creme de violette champions the finish, it allows the shochu to breath, while providing the necessary bump to the sweetness from the grapefruit juice. The grapefruit lends the neccesary bite to prevent a muddying of the flavors. A very clean, refreshing finish. Very drinkable.

Copyright © 2013 Portland Craft Cocktails. All Rights Reserved.