The other day a customer asked me, "Where's the first place you're gonna go on a plane?" I hesitated for a second because I'm not ready to deal with the airport quite yet – I used to travel a lot to quell my wanderlust, and I quite enjoyed the break this past year, to tell you the truth.
But the first place I will go on a plane – I don't have to think hard on this one: anywhere tropical! I am dying to explore Okinawa and the Amami Islands – to eat goya champuru and sip on local drinks and snorkel and be lazy and meet friendly island folk.
This bottle of Amami, made with kokuto (black sugar), transports me to the tropics right away. I get lush notes of custard and stewed raisins. The label itself has illustrations of pineapple and bananas!
Kokuto shochu is super interesting, and much like its distant Caribbean cousin, rum, also made with sugar cane. I prefer agricole rums, and so I love when I stumble upon a kokuto shochu with some funk. Amami has that!
Amami Shurui is a coop venture that was formed between five shochu makers on Amami Island in 1965. Shochu made with kokuto can legally only be made on the island. This shochu is made with black koji, and is chill-filtered.
I love drinking this on the rocks, with a splash of water, on warm nights. It's been muggy in the East Bay lately which has been a lovely break from the dryness. Eek, fire season is coming!