For Nicholas Coldicott's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Jun 25, 2010
Fourteen years ago in a parking lot in the aptly named city of Lebanon, Tennessee, a gentleman who called himself Jellybean and claimed to have killed 26 people allowed me a swig of his homemade whiskey. His drink had a nose, palate and finish of ethanol. He may have forgotten to malt his grains, he may have been using an ill-proportioned still, or he may have been drinking ethanol.
Feb 26, 2010
I ordered a shot of George T. Stagg's fiery Hazmat III in Shot Bar Bourbon, a tiny subterranean bourbon paradise in Ginza, and the bartender served it in a wine glass. I asked why. "For the flavor," he said, and to demonstrate, he tipped my drink into a shot glass. The bourbon lost its aroma and half of its taste. It wasn't a subtle change; it was a character-killing transformation.
Feb 26, 2010
In the early 20th century, when society types in England and the United States pranced around drinking pink Champagne, they loved the coupe. The saucerlike glass showed off the colorful bubbly and came with a naughty, but probably apocryphal, story that it was modeled on Marie-Antoinette's left bosom.
Nov 27, 2009
Sep 25, 2009
Mar 27, 2009
There's a good reason that beer-makers use barley as a base ingredient. Fermentation only works on sugars, and grains don't contain any. But when a grain gets moist, it germinates, and its sprout contains an enzyme that converts starch into sugar. Some grains have tough husks, others sprout too meekly, but barley is the Goldilocks ingredient, just right for malting.
Jan 30, 2009
Evil cometh from the north, they say. Maybe it was sunlight streaming from the south that gave ancient theologians such a notion. Or perhaps the Arctic is gushing malevolence (compare and contrast: Australians and Scandinavians). Regardless, it was a fear of southbound evil that prompted the construction of Kanga-an, a small but majestic temple north of the old Imperial Palace in Kyoto.
Dec 26, 2008
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