alcohol

I’ve never fully understood the appeal of horror movies. After all, what’s the point in paying good money for something that’s going to make you want to pee your pants? On the other hand, purchasing beer always seems like a wise financial decision, despite its similar bladder-assaulting properties. Now, there’s a place where both fright fiends and fans of fermented barley can get their fix, the horror bar Sacrifice.

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Japanese sangria is the most refreshing drink you’ll have all week【Recipe】

At RocketNews24, we’re all about strange alcoholic drinks. But this next one isn’t exactly strange; we’d call it peculiar. The classic Japanese rice wine beverage, nihon-shu, otherwise known as “sake” in English, is given a fun and fruity twist. There are very few drink recipes with nihon-shu as a base, but this one is refreshing and totally easy to drink. Try out this super simple recipe for what we like to call “Japanese sangria” and enjoy a flavor infusion of a traditional Japanese alcohol.

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Saitama cafe offers outdoor baths, books, beer, massages, hammocks, and no reason to leave

The basic idea of going to a cafe is that it’s a place to relax for an hour or so. You can sit down and have a cup of coffee, but eventually you’re going to get hungry, smelly, or sleepy. Sooner or later you’ll need to leave and go somewhere else for a real meal, hot bath, and good night’s sleep.

Unless, of course, you stop by a unique cafe in Saitama Prefecture, which not only has luxurious Japanese-style bathing facilities, but just about everything you need for a comfortable lifestyle.

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Let’s toast to our feline friends — Five cute and tasty cat-themed alcoholic drinks

Annual Cat Day may be over, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop celebrating all things feline, does it? That’s right, as fond as we are of cats, we don’t really need a reason to express our affection for our feline friends, and in that spirit, some of the lovely reporters at our sister site Pouch decided to get together and come up with a list of the best cat-themed alcoholic drinks around. Cats and alcohol, now that sounds like a dangerously attractive combination!

To get their hands on some of the fun and tasty cat-themed drinks out there, our reporters used the services of major Japanese online liquor distributor Kakuyasu. Let’s see what their top five pics were.

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“One coin” sake theme park will make you feel like a (drunken) kid again

Sake (or nihonshu in Japanese) is Japan’s most famous native alcoholic beverage and once was the reigning king of alcohol sales in Japan. Since, the drink has fallen by the wayside as the bubbly, utterly delicious and infallible – says this totally unbiased author – beverage known as beer steamrolled in, flattening the competition even as wine and certain types of spirits agreeable to the Japanese palate also came around to swipe a piece of the pie. 

But if this Niigata sake theme park, where visitors can purchase a cup of sake for just 100 yen, has anything to say about it, sake sales may just find themselves back on top again, as the already much-talked about spot seems poised to explode in popularity, thanks in no small part, of course, to this RocketNews24 article you’re reading right now.

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Bar with all-you-can drink beer and sake + no time limit = limitless bliss

In my time in Japan, I’ve been asked to leave numerous drinking establishments. Don’t get the wrong idea, though. It wasn’t because I was causing a disturbance (well, except for that one time in college), or because I was charming all the women and not leaving any for the other male customers (well, except for….wait, no, that really didn’t ever happen).

The polite requests for me to exit bars come from the wonderful system called nomi hodai, where you pay a flat fee and are served as much booze as you like. The standard time limit is two hours, although some places have budget priced 90-minute plans, and others are more generous with three-hour deals. It’s always a downer when the wait staff tells you your time’s up, but after all, they have to cut the customers off at some point, right?

Not at a new bar in Tokyo, where paying the entrance fee gets you an unlimited amount of sake and beer with no time limit.

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Somehow, underage drinking in Japan is about to get even easier

I’ve never been bothered by being asked for proof of age when buying beer. Maybe it’s because even when I was 16 I apparently already looked old enough that strangers in convenience store parking lots would ask me to buy a six pack for them, but I never took a clerk asking to see my ID as an insult. I simply accepted it as part of the societal dance necessary to procure my beloved barley juice.

Some drinkers in Japan, though, take offense at being asked for proof that they’re not minors. The Aeon Group, one of Japan’s largest retailers, has responded with a generous change in policy, and will no longer ask certain customers for confirmation of age, despite the fact that Japan’s underage drinking prevention is already ridiculously easy to circumvent.

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Mint chocolate beer sounds great, but how does it taste? We find out

Every year at Valentine’s Day, a slew of limited-edition chocolates are rolled out in Japan, where following the local custom, women give gifts to men. Unfortunately, while there are indeed plenty of guys with a sweet tooth, few of them really want candies shaped like butterflies and rosebuds.

Thankfully, there are a handful of more masculine alternatives, such as the Final Fantasy chocolates we recently introduced you to. But you know what’s even more manly than a video game about a dude killing monsters with a giant sword while his hot martial artist girlfriend cheers him on? Booze. Which is why today we’re knocking back a mint chocolate beer.

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Foreign residents pick their favorite snacks to pair with Japanese beer

A few years ago, I was hanging out with a friend in Tokyo. Being recently married meant that for the first time in several years I was living in an apartment more spacious and comfortable than a bunker, and I invited my buddy back to my place for a beer.

I called my wife to give her a heads-up that I was bringing home a guest, and when we arrived, I was surprised to see she’d gone down the block to the store and picked up a selection of snacks for our impromptu drinking session. In hindsight, this really shouldn’t have been so unexpected, as beer is almost always accompanied by food in Japan.

Our memories are a little hazy, but we seem to remember being taught, “When in Rome, drink as the Romans.” Taking this to heart, recently a group of foreign residents in Japan shared their favorite munchies to pair with Japanese beer.

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Burger King has apple burgers (and cocktails) in Japan, and we’ve got them in our bellies

Even as someone who can always appreciate a tasty hamburger, there’s a quandary I face whenever I go out to satisfy my beef-based sandwich needs. Your standard burger gives you plenty of protein from the meat, some nice carbs from the bread, and even a scattering of veggies between the buns, but it’s hard to get your fruit fix at a burger emporium.

Or, more accurately, it was, until Burger King Japan started offering two hamburgers with slices of grilled apple. We traveled to one of Burger King’s branches in Yokohama to try both on the day of their release, but they weren’t the only discoveries waiting for us. So come along with us as we present the ABCs (apples, booze, and couches) that make Burger King different in Japan.

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Japanese alcohol company accused of advertising to children, pulls commercial off the air

It seems Japanese companies can’t keep themselves out of trouble this week. First, an ANA commercial starring a Japanese man wearing a long nose and blonde wig had some groups offended, prompting the company to issue an official apology. Now, an advertisement from Kirin, one of the largest producers of alcohol in Japan, has parents crying foul over the use of a friendly green frog that could appeal to children.

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We live the high life with wine aged in the depths of Japan’s seas

While Japan’s most iconic alcoholic beverage is the indigenous brew known abroad as sake (and as nihonshu at home), there are Japanese winemakers as well. Many are located in Yamanashi Prefecture, where local wineries hold an annual festival which we visited this past fall.

However, the last bottle of vino we enjoyed didn’t age in the mountains of Yamanashi, or the highlands of any other Japanese prefecture for that matter. Instead, our most recently purchased wine spent seven months aging at the bottom of the sea.

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Forget coffee, this Tokyo Starbucks now sells booze!

Normally known for a spot to get a sugar-fueled caffeine fix, Starbucks recently opened a new outlet in Tokyo that is serving alcohol. The new coffee shop is part of a concept line of cafés the company is establishing in Japan to offer customers something a little different from the usual Starbucks experience. In addition to serving upscale coffee drinks and homemade desserts, this shop will be selling wine and beer after noon in the fashionable Shimokitazawa neighborhood.

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Study in China determines Sprite to be the best drink to relieve a hangover

So you hit the bottle a little too hard last night and have now awoken in a state of gut-rotting, head-pounding, agony. Standing before the fridge you pretend to be a doctor and judge which drink would be chemically most efficient to chug your way out of this stupor. Water? Coffee? Wheat tea?

Surprisingly, if you chose Sprite, you’d be correct. At least, that’s what a team of researchers at Zhongshan University decided after studying the effects of 57 different drinks against hangovers.

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She doesn’t need beer goggles to look cute, but we try Hello Kitty Beer anyway

As Japan’s most prodigious celebrity endorser, Hello Kitty certainly keeps busy. In this month alone, we’ve seen her grace Toshiba’s SD cards, and even transform herself into a cute, cuddly dislocated tooth to hawk toothpaste.

With such a hectic work schedule, it’s understandable that Kitty-chan should want to relax the same way many of us do after coming home from a long, hard day at the office: by cracking open a cold beer. Even then though, the hard-working feline is on the clock, with a new line of Hello Kitty Beer.

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Snake being pickled to create healing liquor awakens after 3 months and bites woman

Shejiu is a traditional type of liquor that is made by pickling a venomous snake in a bottle of alcohol such as baijiu. The venom of the snake is neutralized by the liquor and, thanks to the essences of the serpent, is said to have energizing and healing properties.

It is widely drunk in various parts of Asia to treat problems or maintain health, but for one unlucky woman in one of China’s most northeastern cities, brewing the drink ended in a trip to the hospital when the snake awoke after three months and attacked.

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We visit sake brewer Yamanashi Meijo and our mouths fall in love!

When people think of Japanese alcohol, they almost inevitably think of sake, and with good reason! More accurately known as nihonshu, or “Japanese alcohol,” the rice-wine drink has played an essential role in Japanese culture for centuries.

But as delicious as some may find it, it’s not for everyone, even if drinking it would make you healthy, wealthy, and wise… or at least healthier. The taste can take a little getting used to, so it’s hardly surprising to find someone who’d rather just have a nice cold beer. But maybe they’re just drinking the wrong sake!

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Cold beer – less smelly than fermented soybeans, and by one criteria, healthier too

Earlier this week, we talked about the purported beauty benefits of Japanese rice wine. Today, we’ve got good news for health-conscious beer lovers.

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Drink till you’re hot – How Japanese rice wine can improve your looks

Drink enough adult beverages and one day you’re sure to experience “beer googles,” the phenomenon where the person you’re looking at starts to appear more and more attractive after each round.

But is it possible to make yourself better looking through the power of alcohol? Apparently so…

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Matcha beer is a thing and it’s absolutely delicious

The history of beer – man’s most delicious way of getting inebriated – is long and winding, with many fad flavors and failed attempts at new brewing methods. We’ve seen beer infused with marijuana (failure), blueberry beer (failure), wheat beer (resounding success), even chocolate beer (success by virtue of having chocolate in it).

Until now though, we’d never heard of the surprisingly intuitive combination of beer and matcha. Looking back, it makes so much sense: two complementary bitter flavors, combined to create an appealing, marbled green-colored beverage that St. Patrick would have loved if he hadn’t, in reality, been a total prude.

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