As a shochu advisor I wanted to share with readers shochu that are worth checking out. The first shochu I will introduce is very interesting. My first day at work at Nihonbashi Takashimaya in the sake department some of my colleagues took me out for drinks. They asked me to pick something from the store to take along for the group to drink. At the time I didn’t know too much about shochu but was definitely curious so I asked my colleague to select a unique shochu. She selected Tantakatan, a shochu made from shiso. I was definitely curious, not only from the base ingredient, but also what a great name. It rolls off the tongue – Tantakatan.
The aroma of the shiso is present, but not too overbearing. However, once on your palate, it is obvious that this is made from shiso. It’s a great starter shochu for someone curious about this distilled spirit. The alcohol percentage is low, only 20 percent, and as it’s usually combined with water and ice the percentage drops to 10 percent, or less than most wine.
made in Asahikawa, Hokkaido
Tantakatan is made with a blend of juice from red shiso leaves, dates, and white liquor (or korui shochu), so this is a unique type of shochu referred to as “konwa shochu“.
I prefer this on the rocks with water but other options include:
Including a smashed umeboshi with water (or soda).
Having it with cranberry juice, ginger ale or tonic water.
Garnish with fresh shiso leaves.