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New York's first-ever Shochu Cocktail Week has officially started

Mixologists have created speciality cocktails across the city.

Written by
Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

New York's first-ever Shochu Cocktail Week is here! March 1 through 14—okay, it's cocktail two weeks—several local bars will offer specialty cocktails highlighting the Japanese spirit. Japan's Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Oita and Kumamoto Prefectures are working with participating bars to highlight the regional specialities, which can be distilled from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat and more starchy ingredients.  

To celebrate Shochu throughout the first half of March, a bar crawl is absolutely in order, especially with specialty cocktails this enticing. 

On the Lower East Side, Japanese-cocktail bar Bar Goto will be offering three special drinks: Koji-San made with Iichiko Saiten Barley Shochu, mezcal, lemon and lime, celery and syrup; Murasaki made with Potato Shochu, Japanese purple sweet potato puree, aged rum and nutmeg; and the Hakumai Highball with Rice Shochu, rice vodka soda water and pickled sushi ginger.

Other Manhattan participants include Patent Pending (with a Shochu sour, and more), Bandits, Blueprint NYC and NR, which will serve the Insta-worthy Transparent Tomato made from Barley Shochu, tomato, green tomato jam, lemon and umami salt -- it's like a Bloody Mary with a fresh Japanese twist.

In Greenpoint, the modern Japanese American restaurant and bar Rule of Thirds is also offering an intriguing craft cocktail menu with specialties like Parrot Trap (Towari Buckwheat Shochu, Jura 10 Year Scotch, Giffard Banane Liqueur, plus mint and jasmine soda on top) and the espresso martini riff, Brass Taxi (Nakanaka Pretty Barley Shochu, Hojicha infused Haku Vodka, Mr Black Coffee Liqueur, espresso and beet syrup).

Martiny's, a new bar by Angel's Share head bartender Takuma Watanabe, is also slated to participate once they debut in March, and their opening special shochu menu looks glamorous.

There's a lot of shochu to drink in New York this spring, better get started! 

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