Green fairy leads to Tokyo absinthe bar

| Sep 9, 2014

Green fairy leads to Tokyo absinthe bar

by Melinda Joe

Five years ago, Hiroyasu Kayama developed a fascination with absinthe. Shortly before opening his bar Ben Fiddich in July 2013, he took a pilgrimage to the famous absinthe-producing town of Pontarlier, which lies on the French border with Switzerland. Now, the 30-year-old mixologist wants ...

Umami: an ideal sake pairing

| Dec 12, 2013

Umami: an ideal sake pairing

by Melinda Joe

On a recent September morning in Napa Valley, a sake-pairing session at the Culinary Institute of America’s annual Worlds of Flavor conference began with a lesson in organic chemistry. The theme of the seminar was “sake and umami,” a topic tantalizing enough to fill ...

Unique sake from father-son team

| Nov 7, 2013

Unique sake from father-son team

by Melinda Joe

Kumpai Shuzo stands along a quiet stretch of the Kyu-Tokaido Road, across the Abe River in an old part of Shizuoka City. Run by father-and-son team Seiji and Hidetoshi Ichikawa, the brewery has remained in the same location since the family’s ancestors began making ...