We at dekantā are constantly looking for interesting bottles to stock and introduce to our customers. This month, as the one-year anniversary of dekantā approaches, we’ve decided to do something new. This month, we are introducing a brand new category of ‘exotic’ bottles; these exotic bottles are not whisky, but instead, are a variety of Japanese alcoholic drinks that we think our customers might find quite interesting. These bottles range from sake to Awamori to liqueurs to rice vodka, and we believe that they make an excellent addition to the dekantā range. Let’s take a quick look at what we have!
First, of course, we have sake – Japan’s national drink, brewed from rice. If you’ve ever visited a Japanese restaurant, chances are that you have tried it. Sake is an excellent drink, which goes exceptionally well with food (especially Japanese, of course), as well as being enjoyable on its own. Some sake, like this one is best enjoyed warm, while other high-grade bottles, like this and this should be enjoyed chilled.
We currently have a few bottles in stock – everything from high-grade, award winning sake to more simple sake. Take a look at the selection now and try it out. You won’t regret it!
If you have ever heard of Shochu, then Awamori might ring a bell, too. Awamori is Okinawa’s national drink, distilled from long Indica rice and local ‘koji mold’. Awamori has been produced in Okinawa since at least the 15th century. Originally introduced by traders from Thailand, Awamori is still made using imported Indica long rice from Thailand. However, this does not mean that Awamori is similar to something you may find in Thailand, as the Okinawans made a substantial contribution to the distillation process; they incorporated and invented new techniques, as well as adding their own mold to it. The imported rice is mixed with the local Koji mold; this is as opposed to traditional Japanese shochu, which uses Japanese short rice and Japanese koji mold. Awamori has long had a reputation for being an excellent alcoholic drink; in fact, during the ages where Okinawa was an independent kingdom, it often sent Awamori as tribute to its powerful neighbors in China and Japan. Evidently, this worked out quite well, as both the Japanese and the Chinese were content in leaving the islands independent, providing they received their share of the local booze!
The alcohol content of Awamori tends to be around 30 to 43%, although levels as low as approximately 25% and as high as 60% also exist. Awamori tends to be aged underground in clay pots, which improves both its flavor and makes it more mellow. In this sense, Awamori is similar to whisky, as while most shochu is simply brewed and distilled, Awamori is often made to age for decades. For example, our oldest Awamori currently in stock was distilled in 1974 and was not bottled until 2015, making it over 40 years old!
Awamori is thus a high quality product that we think will make an excellent addition to dekantā. Many of the bottles comes in beautiful urns and jars. Take a look at the selection here.
Umeshu (Japanese Apricot wine)
Another favorite drink is Japanese Apricot wine, also known as Umeshu – a traditional Japanese liqueur made by blending a little ume (Japanese apricot) with Shochu and sugar. Like so many other things in Japan, Umeshu is originally from China; but it was the Japanese who really made Umeshu the popular drink that it has become today. For the longest time, Umeshu was made from sake. However, modern Umeshu, which is made by blending it with shochu, gives it that special flavor. The drink is relatively young, having been first recorded in the early 1900s. Umeshu is notable for being unusually sweet and sour for alcohol; this taste comes from the citric acid in the ume fruit. We haven’t met anyone who actually dislikes this drink – quite a feat. In fact, the taste can appeal to those who normally dislike the taste of alcoholic drinks. It is also an excellent drink to enjoy just before a meal, as its sweetness tends to stimulate the appetite. We currently offer three different bottles of Umeshu, including the international award winning Yumehibiki, which we highly recommend that you try!
Kirakira Cherry Blossom Liqueur
If you’ve haven’t yet visited Japan, you would know that the Japanese have a thing for sakura, or cherry blossom. And it’s no wonder, as there are few things as beautiful as blooming cherry blossom trees. The Kirakira is made to celebrate the blooming of the Sakura. The bottle even contains a bloomed sakura flower, and should look quite wonderful wherever it is seated, not to mention the fact that it’s also deliciously sweet and enjoyable to drink. We recommend you get at least two – one to drink and one to keep!
Here, we have something completely different – Rice Vodka – and from an award winning distillery, too! Essentially, it is distilled sake, and we quite like it; it reminds us of shochu, but is different enough for us to notice. It also has an alcohol content of 55%! If you are looking for something completely different, then this is it!
So, dive in and take a look at our new selection of quality Japanese drinks!