Well before the current vogue of “skinny” cocktails, shochu was in play at the bars of Asian-inspired dining and drinking establishments that aspired to authenticity. Indeed, at a time when operators take cues from Korean taco trucks, Japanese izakayas and Southeast Asian street-food emporia, the Japanese distilled spirit offers much more than just a lower calorie load than Western liquors. It is the versatile base for a wide array of specialty cocktails, especially the ...

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