To celebrate our 9th anniversary, I wanted to kanpai with y'all with a special bottle. Washi, our dear friend and co-owner of @sobaichi_oakland , recently visited Japan and brought us back a bottle of the very lush and delightful @yamatozakura sweet potato shochu.
Yamatozakura is a shochu brewery in a seaside town in Kagoshima, where Tekkan Wakamatsu makes small batch shochus with a lot of care and love. Tekkan visited us in our old Oakland space many years ago, and he is the kindest person – and also so young and hip! I dunno, I was always so accustomed to meeting older sake toji (brewmaster), and we all just vibed really well, like we had known each other for ages.
This shochu is everything I want from a sweet potato shochu – it's smooth and mellow, but mineral-forward with tropical notes. Made with white koji and atmospheric distilled, I really enjoy this shochu on the rocks, with Chinese food or a chocolate chip cookie from @thelocalbutchershop . One sip takes me straight to Kagoshima, in an onsen, overlooking the ever-erupting Sakurajima volcano.
I love this photo of us at the airport! It was in 2017 – Yoko and I were on a whirlwind trip through Kyushu to explore shochu distilleries with JETRO, a government trade organization in Japan. We had asked to stop off at Yamatozakura but were told they had never heard of it before. That's when you know you're too cool! We can't wait to visit Tekkan and his family at Yamatozakura the second we can get on a plane to Japan again. And hopefully, get this bottle on our shelves asap.