Whiskey shaved ice: A frozen treat for adults in Kyoto

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RocketNews 24:


One of the most popular ways to cool yourself off during a muggy Japanese summer is with a bowl of shaved ice, known as kakigoori. However, not everyone has the sweet tooth or enduring connection to their inner child that’s necessary to enjoy the brightly colored, syrupy sweet frozen treat that’s usually flavored like strawberry, melon, or lemon.

Thankfully, if you’re looking for a chilled dessert that’s a little more adult, a restaurant in Kyoto has just the thing: shaved ice with whiskey.

During the summer, many high-rises in Japan open beer gardens on their roofs. Soradoko in Kyoto, which is open from now until October, decided to shake up its menu a little bit, and instead of focusing on beer, makes whiskey highballs its specialty.


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This, of course, means Soradoko has to keep a lot of whiskey on hand, which has in turn led to it getting a little creative with whiskey shaved ice. Made with either Yamazaki or Shirasu, two of Suntory’s best-known brands, both the Mizore Yamazaki and Mizore Shirasu come with lemon, Soradoko’s own mildly sweet syrup, and soda water.


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Aside from its 1,200 yen (US$11.90) whiskey shaved ice, Soradoko also has a variety of cocktails in its Fruit Jar series. The flavors offered are made with tropical fruits from Miyazaki Prefecture, such as mango and hyuganatsu citrus.


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Soradoko isn’t strictly for drinkers, as there’s food on the menu too. The restaurant is managed by the same company as the Tsukada Nojo chain of izakaya pubs, and there’s even some crossover between the menu, such as flat-grilled Miyazaki Jitokko chicken.


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Restaurant information
Soradoko / 空床
Address: Kyoto-fu, Kyoto-to, Nakagyo-ku, Sanjodori Kawaramachi Higashi-iri, Nakajimacho 110, Sanjo Forum Building rooftop
京都府京都市中京区三条通河原町東入中島町110 三条フォーラムビル屋上
Open 5 p.m.-midnight


Product Design: Samurai Vodka’s bottle design is a cut above the rest

RocketNews 24:

Back in 2009 an interesting design for a bottle of Samurai Vodka was posted on Behance, a website where graphic artists and designers can showcase their works. More recently, it was picked up by a Reddit user, thus sending the clever design by Arthur Schreiber viral around the world. And quite frankly it deserves to be seen in all four corners.

If you’re like me, your first thought was probably: “Where can I buy this?” Unfortunately, Samurai Vodka is fictitious rice vodka created by Schreiber to add context to his bottle design.  However, he does state that he is open to offers for any beverage maker looking to acquire it. Considering the attention it’s been getting recently, that might not be a bad investment.

Now your second thought might be: “Hey, wait a minute. Isn’t the top half of the bottle sliding the wrong way?” This bothered several Reddit users as well. Some imagined that an upward strike might cause the top half of the bottle to momentarily slide upwards, but someone posted a video demonstrating how that’s not the case. This video has also become my favorite of the month.

This reminds me to post my design concept for Ninja Vodka. It’s disguised as a regular bottle of Smirnoff, but the vodka inside can suddenly disappear without a trace… usually when I get dumped by my girlfriend.

Source: Behancereddit (English) via Byokan Sunday (Japanese)

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Product Design: Samurai Vodka’s bottle design is a cut above the rest


6 Types of Chinese Hard Liquor You Should Try

Earlier this summer, The Economist published data showing that the world consumed roughly 27 billion liters of alcoholic beverages last year — and China accounted for 38% of it. However, the most popular Chinese drink didn’t make the top 10 world rankings because baijiu, a type of distilled alcoholic drink that accounts for 99.5% of all spirits consumed in China, isn’t consumed anywhere else.

China-based American writer Derek Sandhaus, in his blog 300 Shots at Greatness, has been chronicling his determination to learn to love baijiu since 2011. Today Sandhaus has made a name for himself as a baijiu expert and connoisseur. Here is an interesting interview with him.

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6 Types of Chinese Hard Liquor You Should Try