What you'll do
Learn about sake (a brewed rice drink) and shochu (a Japanese spirit) while tasting a diverse range of both traditional beverages. Some 53 ingredients can be used in the production of shochu, such as sweet potato, brown sugar, barley, rice, or buckwheat. Each one adds its own unique flavor and aroma to the distilled liquor. As we explore these differences, I’ll describe shochu’s history, production process, and cultural relevance. We’ll do an equally deep dive into sake (which is made from fermented rice) to see how distinct and dynamic these two national drinks can be. I’ll also share tips on how to converse with bartenders and servers in my favorite bars and bottle shops in Tokyo. You’ll leave with new confidence when it comes to selecting shochu or sake from a menu.
I’m the author of "The Shochu Handbook," the world's first English-language book on Japan’s indigenous spirits, and I’ve worked in two shochu distilleries over the years. I’m also a contributor to the forthcoming “Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails,” a frequent public speaker, judge on the international spirits circuit, and the world's only dual-certified (Japan and US) shochu expert -- with an advanced qualification in sake for good measure. I’ve lived in Tokyo for over 17 years and I love sharing my passion for shochu and sake with others.
Light appetizers Please let me know of any dietary restrictions.
Sake and shochu tasting
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Where you'll be
We’ll share a table at HAVESPI Shinjuku, a cozy bar hiding on an upper floor within the Shinjuku shopping district. With its large shochu selection and cocktail mixing space, this non-smoking bar has a relaxed vibe, perfect for a tasting. You can also bring your own food in here!
Keep these in mind
Any experience can be cancelled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase.
Always communicate through Airbnb. To protect your payment, never transfer money or communicate outside of the Airbnb website or app.
Up to 8 guests ages 18 and up can attend.
This experience includes alcohol. Only guests who meet the legal drinking age will be served alcoholic beverages.
Feel free to bring your own drinking snacks!
Sake Shochu Showdown