Snow, cold, wind, rain, and frigid temps – yep, you must be in Connecticut. With a yet another snow storm behind us and who knows what cold weather is coming in the future, this hot toddy recipe – featuring iichiko Kurobin shochu – by “The Liquid Chef” is the perfect drink for staying warm and cozy indoors. Made with Grand Marnier, agave nectar, lemon juice, and a cinnamon stick, this flavorful take on a winter classic will make you forget all about the snow.
The Kurobin Japanese Hot Toddy
by Heidi Merino of The Liquid Chef
- 1 oz iichiko Kurobin shochu liquor
- 1/2 oz Grand Marnier
- 1 bar spoon of Agave Nectar
- 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 4 oz boiling water
- 1 cinnamon stick
Combine ingredients in a coffee mug and stir with a cinnamon stick. Sip and enjoy!
You may be asking what iichiko Kurobin shochu is and we have the answer for you. Kurobin is one of several shochus distilled by iichiko of Japan. Kurobin is distilled from 100% bailey (bailey and barley koji) using a single distillation process combining techniques of low-pressure and atmospheric distillation.
This soft and pleasant genuine shochu is luminous in color, while presenting gentle aromas of violet. Hints of red cherry, tangerine and yellow on the palate followed by notes of fruit cake and lychee. Its simple flavor has a refined silky sweetness with a long finish. iichiko Kurobin is a genuine shochu that harmonizes exquisitely with all-koji raw spirits-the origin of barley koji drinks.
Kurobin has 25% ABV and comes in a 720ml ceramic bottle.
Back to koji. Koji is the very center of shochu production: comprised of microbes resembling the bacteria involved in the production of Western cheese and yogurt. The production of shochu is reliant on koji to convert starch from bailey into glucose, the yeast is added to convert the glucose into alcohol. In addition, koji offers a preservative function, due to it producing large quantities of citric acid that protects iichiko against detrimental bacteria, as well, helps bring out the flavor inherent in the bailey. Thus, being a contribution to iichiko’s rich taste and delicate aroma. iichiko uses no additional additives that alter it’s taste and aroma.
The creation of shochu involves a detailed process led by the toji (master blender) that starts with quality grain and water. The selected bailey is then polished to remove a good portion of the outer shell, eliminating layers of fat leading to a more refined taste. Moromi or mash is then created by adding water with very few impurities drawn from a spring flowing beneath many layers of rock. The moromi is converted to koji and then combined with yeast to start the lengthy fermentation process. Then the fermented moromi is distilled into schochu using a single batch distillation system. iichiko uses a two separate methods: a low-pressure method and an atmospheric-pressure method. The final product is the result of the experienced toji achieving the optimal balance between the two methods. The blended schochu is then filtered and bottled.
iichiko, located in Japan, puts quality first and has since opening in 1958 using only barley in its shochu. Unlike others who may use sweet potato, rice, or buckwheat.