To feed our Simple Cocktails philosophy, we introduce “podcasting with friends.” Hanging out is part of our job. Because more tongues. We taste iichiko Kurobin Shochu. Kampai! We make the Fox River Cocktail. Shaking and stirring a drink and what happens to it. How Greg responded to a shaken Martini. Where chocolate comes from. Fox River is real.
We recently had a little fun on the podcast at the expense of Twenty Boat Spiced Rum. A rum from Cape Cod? If you heard the episode, however, you noted how quickly the jokes ended when we tasted Twenty Boat.
Distilled by South Hollow Spirits in Massachusetts, who distills both Twenty Boat Spiced and Twenty Boat Amber Rum, this is a spiced rum to try if you see it (it’ll run you about $45 a bottle). With spices like vanilla, cinnamon and chai in the mix, Twenty Boat ends up lead by a strong butterscotch note most of all.
I love to use spiced rums in my rum-and-cokes (made in a 1:3 ratio) because the spices in the rum usually closely pair and complement the flavor or Coke, and Twenty Boat fits the bill. I’ve found that if a spiced rum isn’t strong enough and spiced enough (duh), that it tastes too watery and bland. Twenty Boat doesn’t suffer from wither of these and it comes in at a impressive 95 proof. Because of the high proof, Twenty Boat is a decent sipping rum too, and a good pairing on the rocks with a cigar.
Well, this is a first! We have never tasted (or covered) a shōchū here at Simple Cocktails, and it’s fun to continue to explore the world of distilled spirits.
Shōchū is a Japanese spirit distilled from barley, rice, sweet potato or buckwheat. In the case of iichiko, it is distilled from 100% barley, y’know, the same stuff that scotch is distilled from? iichiko retails for $30 and is the best-selling shōchū in Japan. This particular type of iichiko is Kurobin, which means black bottle.
As with anything, it’s always helpful to be able to compare a new distilled spirit to something else, and the best comparison I can make for shōchū is genever, a Dutch spirit which is also sometimes distilled from barley. There are several ways that shōchū is served, including the tea I tried it in, neat or on the rocks. The flavor of shōchū is malty, light and fruity. I tasted it (as pictured above) in the following ratio:
2 oz iichiko Kurobin shōchū
4 oz boiling water
1 tsp sugar (to flavor)
This produces a malty liquor tea with a flavor that’s vaguely reminiscent of a light-tasting high-malt beer. There is a clear asian flavor to shōchū, too, a light freshness that I can’t associate with any particular flavor, but it’s definitely unique and something worth trying.
James Bond VHS library. The easiest way to start a home bar. The Simple Cocktails Buyers Guides. We make a Sweet Pink Gin Cocktail.Guilty for emptying bottles? Pay attention to your children. Steel drums, no umbrellas. We taste Twenty Boat Spiced Rum. Cape Cod knows….noodle salad.
We had the opportunity to go to San Antonio for their annual Cocktail Conference recently, and one thing I heard a little bit about in the seminars was “redeeming” cocktails from the 1990s, the over-juiced, over-sweetened decade that just about killed cocktails as we know them.
The Kamikaze is a cocktail/shot that got popular during that Dark Decade and I was excited to recently read 12 Bottle Bar‘s redemptive re-do of the recipe in their book. You see, the usual recipe for the Kamikaze is equal parts vodka, lime juice, and triple sec, which is a little bit like a margarita, but the proportions are off-kilter because the booze ratio is half what it should be. Give this one a try and I think you’ll find it balanced, tart, and refreshing:
Enough of the holidays! Eating less and drinking more. A 10-minute detox. we taste Trader Joe’s new tonic water. We are going to Texas this week! Tired of snow. We make a Lawhill cocktail. Old cocktails and their names.
Now that we’re coming back from the holidays, we’re thrilled to announce that we’re going to be heading to Texas next week for the San Antonio Cocktail Conference. We will be hosting a seminar on Cigar and Cocktail pairing – cost is $55 for attendees and we’d love to see you there!
There in the midst of cocktail enthusiasts, we’ll be recording interviews which we’ll use for a special podcast episode just like we did at Tales of the Cocktail last year.
Little Apple Watch. Christmas is here. Swamp Thing. Electrocution and fear. We taste Tullamore DEW. “The story matters.” We make an It’s Chila Outside. The bitterest of nuts. Try it with brandy! “Happy birthday Jesus!”
Hearing from listeners. We screwed it up: #FAIL. What a Commodore really should be? Here’s the photo. We taste Maraska maraschino liqueur. Greg does things the way Marilyn does things. We refer to a White Martinez. We make a Green Dragon cocktail. Talking about ice. “Valuable” liquor.