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Shochu Zanmai

At Shochu Zanmai, we are literally surrounded by the stuff: the bar boasts over 300 varieties of the spirit, and plastic crates filled with bottles are stacked high along three of the four walls in the room where we are seated. Faced with so many choices, I would be lost on my own, but shōchū expert Christopher Pellegrini, who has kindly agreed to play the Virgil to my Dante, leads me through a tasting that reveals the drink’s astonishing diversity.