A new type of sangria-inspired drink is in town. It’s called Shochu Bachiwari, and you’re going to fall in love with the limited-edition drink at Aburiya Kinnosuke; just like I did. It’s a mixture of Japanese favorite shochu, water, ice, and some fruit.
Let’s dive into the first question: What is shochu? Shochu is a distilled liquor made from a variety of different bases, and it’s most commonly made potato, barley or rice. I personally fell in love with the sweet potato variety, which has a sweeter finish. If you’re a whiskey lover, you’ll love the barley variety which had a robust flavor profile. The strongest flavor profile out the types I tasted was the rice, and it’s perfect for someone who loves a strong drink.
If you want to really dive in the shochu, a great starting point for you is the barley variety. Most folks compare it vodka, but it’s totally different. It’s also very different than Korean shochu.
When you add water to your shochu, the flavor becomes more profound, which I thought was fascinating. I had never tried shochu before testing out Aburiya Kinnosuke’s Shochu Bachiwari, and now I can’t stop thinking about it.
At Aburiya Kinnosuke, you can create your own perfect Shochu Bachiwari. At the restaurant, you can create a custom drink, based on you and your friends/family/ significant other’s drink preferences. It makes for an enjoyable date night or night out with friends.
When it comes to creating your perfect Shochu Bachiwari, you get to choose the variety of shochu to use in the drink. If you’re not sure which variety of shochu to taste, ask! The servers are happy to let you sample the drink, so you can best determine which shochu works for your palate.
Besides choosing the spirit, you also select a variety of fruits to pair with the spirit. You can opt for the Fireworks variety which includes: sliced oranges, lemons, and limes; you can also choose Ume Shiso with plum and shiso leaves. The final option is Kappa, which is a combination of cucumbers and grapefruit. My favorite pairing was the barley variety paired with the “firework” fruit. It was a delicious and refreshing drink, making it a perfect end of summer, kind of drink.
Once you determine your perfect combo, a server will bring you a bowl (bachi), and it will be filled with ice and the chosen fruit, along with some glasses and a serving spoon. After the bowl is brought out to you, the server will pour the shochu over the fruit and gently mix the flavors together and violá, you’re ready to drink.
On top of the incredible Shochu Bachiwari, they have an excellent cocktail and food menu, which has a few dishes featuring wagyu beef. If you’re worried the Shochu Bachiwari will be too much for you and your friends/family/significant other, you can check out on their tasty cocktails. As someone who has a bit of a sweeter palette, I also really liked their Yuzu Cucumber Chu-Hi drink, which has a perfectly balanced flavor.
If you’re looking for a fun date night, birthday celebration or just dinner with friends, Aburiya Kinnosuke is a lovely spot to check out. Visit Aburiya Kinnosuke at 213 East 45th St. and try the Shochu Bachiwari for yourself. To make reservations, check out resy.com.