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Sake Sommelier

KAWABE Straight Up

In this new drink section, we’ll profile one Japanese liquor (sake, shochu, awamori, beer, etc.) each month and introduce original ways to enjoy it. In January, we are featuring Kawabe brand premium rice shochu.


Category: Premium shochu
Origin of production: Kumamoto Prefecture
Base ingredients: Rice
Koji used: White koji
Distillation style: Genatsu (reduced-pressure) distillation
Features: The trademark of this shochu is the clear and fresh aroma coming from the pristine water of the Kawabe River, from which the shochu is made. Very soft on the palate with a sharp finish, it can be appreciated just like a dry sake. It is paired with a variety of dishes, and it is particularly great with lobster and oyster.
Alcohol content: 25% (50 proof)
Produced by Sengetsu Shuzo Co., Ltd.
Distributed by NY Mutual Trading, Inc.



KAWABE Straight Up

Cocktail recipe courtesy: Takahiro Okada of Shigure

KAWABE’s elegant flavor comes from the local water sourced from the Kawabe River and the rice grown with the same water. “I can taste the beautiful flavor of the water in this premium rice shochu, so I don’t want to spoil the subtlety and elegant impression by adding any mixers and bitters. To maximize the clean and fresh taste, I suggest drinking it in a straight up martini style. Also, Kawabe’s slight bitterness goes well with yuzu peel that also has a bitter taste,” says Takahiro Okada, owner/sommelier of Sake Bar Shigure. It’s clean and pristine, which is perfect for a fresh-start to the new year.

Ingredients: Serves 1
• 3 oz Kawabe rice shochu
• Ice to chill a glass and the shochu
• Yuzu (or lemon) peel to garnish

1. Chill the martini glass with ice.
2. Pour Kawabe rice shochu and ice in a shaker and shake.
3. Discard the ice in the glass and place a yuzu peel in it.
4. Pour the ice-cold, shaken Kawabe.



Sengetsu Shuzo Co., Ltd.


Deeply rooted in the Kuma region of Kumamoto Prefecture, Sengetsu Shuzo has produced shochu for over 110 years. The rice shochu made in the region is recognized worldwide as Kuma Shochu, a brand named after its area, designated by the World Trade Organization (like Scotch Whiskey and Cognac Brandy). With pristine water from the Kawabe River, recognized as the highest quality water in Japan for 9 consecutive years, and abundant local rice, the Sengetsu Shuzo distillery draws from the surrounding environment’s local bounty to craft premium shochu.

1 Shinmachi, Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto 868-0052 JAPAN
TEL: +81-966-22-3207 /

Sake Bar Shigure
Located in the heart of Tribeca, it serves a unique selection of sake, shochu and Japanese beer along with original tapas dishes, attracting sake connoisseurs and novices alike since its opening in 2013. Veteran sake sommelier, Takahiro Okada (formerly of Decibel, En and Sushi Yasuda) curates the drink selection and warmly greets customers at the bar to inspire.


277 Church St., New York, NY 10013
TEL: 212-965-0200 /