Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Love Chu-Hi

I'm not a big drinker. Maybe in college, I did some indulge here and there, but compared to others, and I'm not naming names here, I was an embarrassment. Had I had access to Chu-Hi back then, it may have been a different story.

Chu-hi are alcoholic alternatives to beer. They're carbonated cocktails in a can and made with Souchou, a liquor popular in Asia, most notably Korea. It's basically like sake's tacky cousin. It has virtually no taste so it mixes well with anything. I am a big fan of ordering Oolong-his at bars and restaurants, iced oolong tea and souchou. The alcohol content of most souchou drinks is pretty low, so it's good for low-tolerance party people such as myself.

Chu-his are sold in cans in the beer section of grocery stores and combinis. I became a little obsessed with them while walking by the creepy combini near my home everyday and seeing all the cool dudes smoking cigarettes and downing an afternoon Chu-hi. SO COOL. Currently, all the breweries are introducing their special holiday flavors. Kirin has a really yummy apple Chu-hi which tastes exactly like an alcoholic sparkling apple cider. (Kind of defeats the main purpose of sparking apple cider I guess...) Suntory takes the prize for my favorite Holiday flavor - Mikan. These taste exactly like Sunkist soda...but alcoholic. Genius.

*Note: Japanese people take Sake really seriously. So much so, that in Japan it is called O-Sake...O being an honorific prefix. They do this with O-Sushi and O-Cha (green tea) too. If you say "sake" in Japan, people will just think you're talking about any kind of alcohol. O-sake refers to the honorable Japanese liquor. It's complicated. Anyhow, if you're not in Japan, call it whatever you want...but promise me that you will pronounce it SA-KAY not SA-KEE. Nothing makes me cringe more than hearing the latter.

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