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Nicholas Coldicott
For Nicholas Coldicott's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jan 9, 2022
The lines blur at Hakone’s Bar Hotel
The Bar Hotel Hakone Kazan can be viewed as a bar-themed hotel or a hotel-themed bar. Staying there is a luxurious experience either way.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Aug 14, 2021
How to stock your home bar (with a Japanese twist)
Itu2019s quasi-prohibition time once more in much of Japan, and if ever there were a time to build a home bar, itu2019s now. Here's how to get started, with tips from some of Japan's best bartenders
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / LIQUID CULTURE
Jun 25, 2010
Drink infusions: from fungi to bile
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.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Mar 26, 2010
Great coffee: It's all in the brewing
Espresso "has the potential to deliver more of the incredible taste and aroma of roasted coffee than any other method (of brewing)," wrote Jeffrey Steingarten, food critic for U.S. Vogue magazine.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Feb 26, 2010
A receptacle for the respectable
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.
LIFE / Food & Drink
Feb 26, 2010
The coupe gave way to the flute, but now it's swansong time for that venerated Champagne vessel
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.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jan 29, 2010
Chocolate bars for whisky lovers
A tawny port pairs wonderfully with Stilton. Grand Marnier tastes great on vanilla ice cream. Chianti seems to suit a Margherita pizza. And whisky? Well, that goes with haggis.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / LIQUID CULTURE
Dec 25, 2009
Japan's favorite hangover cures
Tis the season to be jolly. And when you've finished being jolly, tis the season to wake up with veisalgia, more popularly known as a hangover.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / LIQUID CULTURE
Nov 27, 2009
Society's whiskies hit the high notes
I've found a new whisky to love. It's a 26-year-old single malt from Hokkaido's Yoichi distillery. It's got oak and a gentle, sweet smokiness, a touch of leather, cherries, toasted almonds and I'm just making this up now, because after "oaky" and "a bit smoky," I ran out of vocabulary.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / LIQUID CULTURE
Oct 23, 2009
This obscure liqueur may save your soul
This isn't a story about Chartreuse, but let's begin there.
LIFE / Food & Drink / LIQUID CULTURE
Sep 25, 2009
Nixon's chosen cocktail and other things you didn't know about rum
* Captain Morgan was a real person. Sir Henry Morgan was a rather bloodthirsty 17th-century Welshman who blurred the line between privateer and pirate, plundering ships in the Caribbean.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / LIQUID CULTURE
Sep 25, 2009
Tokyo bars toast the sugar cane
Thank God for the Crusades, so to speak.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / LIQUID CULTURE
Aug 28, 2009
Crawling back down Center Gai
My Little Pony and Throbbing Gristle make strange bedfellows. No, not in that way. The plastic horse and a poster of the industrial noiseniks both decorate Shirokuma, a funny little bar on Shibuya's Center Gai.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / LIQUID CULTURE
Jul 24, 2009
A bar crawl up Center Gai
Shibuya, I once wrote, is the heart of Young Japan, and the street named Center Gai is its throbbing artery. Some people pay handsomely for cliches like that.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / LIQUID CULTURE
Jun 26, 2009
Bamboo: Japan's sherry amour
At the Sea Guardian II bar in Yokohama's historic Hotel New Grand, a laminated addendum to the menu offers thoughts on selected drinks. Of the Bamboo cocktail, the writer asks, "Is this the foreigners' image of Japan?"
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / LIQUID CULTURE
May 22, 2009
A purist at work behind the bar
"A bar is no place for a woman. The important characters are always men."
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / LIQUID CULTURE
Mar 27, 2009
Taste-testing a brew for the recession
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.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / LIQUID CULTURE
Jan 30, 2009
An intoxicating temple in Kyoto
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.
LIFE / Food & Drink / LIQUID CULTURE
Jan 30, 2009
An intoxicating temple in Kyoto
Emperor Go Mizuno reportedly loved fucha ryori, and likely partook of it at Kanga-an Temple in Kyoto as he gazed at the enchanting green and gravel garden.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / LIQUID CULTURE
Dec 26, 2008
Hot and tasty to keep you toasty
"Basically, no," said the bartender at one of Kyoto's ritzier drinking establishments when I asked if he could make something hot. I could have fancy juices, cream, egg whites or yolks in my cocktail, but I could not have heat. Even in winter.

Longform

Yoshiko Koide sits in a classroom at Nagoya College where she teaches a Japanese-language observation seminar.
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