Father's Day is June 16


Happy Shochu'sday everyone! The lovely people at Umami Mart have been kind enough to let me take the reins this week, so I thought I'd share a sweet potato shochu that I enjoyed at an izakaya in Kagoshima recently.

Kamo Kagura is a 25% ABV sweet potato shochu that Komaki Jozo has been making since 1995. The coolest thing about this shochu is that it's made using aigamo rice, an organic rice farming technique that leverages the adorable critter foraging power of Japan's aigamo ducks. Here's how aigamo rice is produced: at the beginning of the rice planting season, a bunch of baby ducks are released into the paddy to swim around and snack on anything that may pose a threat to harvest. Their little flippers keep things aerated, their droppings act as fertilizer, and their appetites keep the pests at bay. The ducks mature with the paddy and, when managed carefully, preclude the need for chemical pesticides. 
So the rice used in the first stage of fermentation is organic. Kogane Sengan sweet potatoes are used in the secondary fermentation, and the mash is distilled once at atmospheric pressure in a pot still.
Kamo Kagura is one of Komaki Jozo's lesser-known shochu, but like everything else they make in Satsuma-cho, Kagoshima, it's absolutely delicious. As usual, I'm sipping it oyuwari (cut 50:50 with hot water). What's your shochu of the day?
Christopher Pellegrini
Founder, Honkaku Spirits, LLC.
Column: Shochu'sday


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