Episode-105: Mixing Shochu with Bartender Soran Nomura

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How do we effectively promote Japan’s indigenous beverages? That is the million-dollar question and something the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association are working on relentlessly every day. On the Shochu front, one way they are doing this is by collaborating with bartenders and mixologists from all around the world who have fallen in love with Shochu and Awamori and showcasing the fruits of these collaborations at special events.

Recently, we were lucky to join one of these events, where we got front-row insights into the state of the industry as well as being treated to some delicious Shochu Cocktails by not other than Soran Nomura, renowned in the bartending community both in Japan and abroad, owner of Nomura Shoten, the Quarter Room in Tokyo, creator of beverage consultant firm “ABV+” among a long list of things.

So in this week’s podcast, our regular hosts and Shochu enthusiasts Christopher Pellegrini and Marie Nagata sat down together with Soran to chat about his incredible story. Starting out his journey somewhat 20 years ago in London, with the dream to study art, he very quickly realized he needed a way to make money, so he joined the team at a bar in east London, first as a bar back, but quickly worked his way up in no less than 2 months to become a bartender!

His love for art inspired him to reinterpret garnishes and cocktail presentations which lightened his passion for cocktail making and inspired him to become a mixologist. Fast forward and 10 years later, Soran became the head bartender at well-known Fuglen in Tokyo. He then moved on to work on a variety of things including opening his own consultancy called “ABV+”, and working as the bar producer and manager at the famous K5 Hotel in Tokyo, before opening Nomura Shoten in 2022, followed by the the Quarter Room earlier this year. A unique bar concept that intends to fuse art and cocktails. Listening to Soran, and how he approaches new cocktail creations even left our hosts in awe for a few seconds. Comparing the layer of a drink with mixing colors for a painting, Soran brings it all back to his beginnings and passion for art.

As always, let us know what you think about this week's episode and if you are in Tokyo, make sure you visit Nomura Shoten or the Quarter room! You can of course follow Soran on his Instagram and don’t hesitate to also reach out to us with other sake or shochu-related thoughts or questions at questions@sakeonair.com and rate us on the podcast service of your choice while you’re at it.

At the same time, if you’re looking for updates @sakeonair, you can follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Don’t hesitate to also share any other sake or shochu-related thoughts or questions with the hosts at questions@sakeonair.com and rate us on the podcast service of your choice while you’re at it.

We’ll be back very soon with plenty more Sake On Air.
Until then, kampai!

Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association and is broadcast from the Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center in Tokyo. The show is brought to you by Potts.K Productions with audio production by Frank Walter. Our theme, “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” was composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.