Paperback: 196 pages
Publisher: Christopher Pellegrini (July 22, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,006,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #267 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Asian Cooking > Japanese #774 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Spirits #909 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Wine
A friend introduced me to Christopher Pellegrini's informative Shochu Handbook via a Kickstarter campaign that I am proud to say I contributed to. I have been a fan of shochu for some time, but I have been woefully uniformed about it, so the timing seemed right for an English language book about it. In fact Pellegrini points out that shochu eclipsed nihonshu sales during the third "shochu boom" in 2003 and the gap has continued to grow since then; in 2009 one million kiloliters of shochu was shipped while only 634,000 by nihonshu brewers. In the preface, the readers learns about Pellegrini's love of shochu, which resulted in becoming one of the few non Japanese shochu sommelier certificate holders from the Sake Service Institute. The introduction points out the chapters that may of the most interest to readers who can sample shochu in Japan and those who live outside. Chapter One, answers "What is shochu?" and Pellegrini explains how shochu differs from nihonshu (distilled vs. brewed). This is followed by "How is honkaku shochu unique?" (Chapter Two), where he compares shochu to different types of clear alcohol like vodka, soju (Korean liquor), Awamori (Okinawa alcohol), and rum. Chapter Three explains "How is shochu made?" I was surprised to learn in Chapter Four, "Types of shochu," to learn that there are more than 50 types of ingredients, but Pellegrini focuses on the most popular: potato, barely, rice, brown sugar, and buckwheat. I personally found Chapter Five "Reading the label," very useful. In addition, I wasn't aware of the different ways that shochu is served (Chapter Six "How to serve shochu"). There were lots of good suggestions Chapter Seven "Shochu pairing and sharing" and Chapter Eight "Recommended shochu.
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