Following Brian Ashcraft’s excellent “Japanese Whisky,” Tuttle has brought out this compendious guide to the full range of Japanese beverages. Written by Chris Bunting, author of “Drinking Japan” and Stephen Lyman, an “expert on traditional Japanese shōchū and Okinawan awamori,” it aims to “guide (you) through Japanese alcohol traditions” rather than toward specific establishments or ranges.

Opening with “Native Japanese Alcohol Traditions,” the writers look at the history and development of sake, shōchū, awamori and umeshu (plum wine), delving into process, styles and advice on how to drink them. Written in an easy, flowing style, it covers a lot of ground in a short space of time. The umbrella nature of the premise means the book lacks specific tasting notes, but there is enough detail to send the novice drinker in the right direction.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.