I love to drink shochu by using Japanese original container because it makes me more ‘Good shochu drinking atmosphere with culture ’.
So today i will introduce about Kumamoto original container for drinking Kuma-shochu!!
What are Gara and Choku that are unique to Kuma Shochu? What’s a cup?
Gara is a sake cup with a long spout attached to the body of a flask, which is called “GARA”.
Choku is a small sake cup and is about 10 ml.
In the Meiji period, when Shochu became a drink for common people, Kuma Shochu was distributed as unprocessed sake.
It is said that the alcohol content was about 45 degrees.
It was the mainstream to drink shochu heated to about 35 degrees after diluting it into water in “GARA” and to pour it into “Choku” and sip it as if licking it.
So that measn in the past , people drink shochu not with normal glass because of alcohol content .
What is the custom of Kuma shochu “Sakazuki”?
It is called “Sakazuki” to offer your empty choku to the opponent and pour shochu with Gara.
It is polite for inferiors to “Sakazuki” first for their superiors.
It is a etiquette to drink up one cup, pour another cup of shochu saying “in layers” and then ask the other person to return it.
However, in the case of things that cannot be held twice, such as a funeral and a wedding ceremony, it is not allowed to be held again.
※Picture from toyonagakura here
In the past, 30 to 33 degrees centigrade shochu was put into gara for warming and warmed 40 to 45 degrees centigrade shochu.
If it gets lukewarm while drinking, put it on the heat again.
Even if they dilute Shochu at the request of customers, it was considered a shame to serve light Shochu from the beginning, and if they did that, they were treated as stingy or stupid.
I love history and culture .
So i love the custom of drinking in Kuma-Hitoyoshi region .
When starting to drink shochu, it was an old custom in Kuma-Hitoyoshi area to never drink the first cup as it is, but to drink it at the edge of the Irori fireplace (Irori), at the edge of the tatami room, or somewhere in the sitting area “Be sure to drop just one drop.” when drinking outdoors.
It is a manifestation of the belief that you give shochu to the god of the land first and then receive the sharing.
Japanese people believe God of land , god of mountain , god of river .
And Shochu are made by natural material such a rice , sweet potato , barley and potato ……. So When we start to drink , I think the culture is to drink it after thanking the gods of water and ingredients who were involved in making Shochu.
Glocal BAR Vibes / Nori