The Pop Culture Pub Crawl focuses on the drinking habits of different comic characters and what they would get up to on a night out. Japanese superhero Sunfire/Shiro Yoshida has a reputation for being serious and dutiful, but in his free time, he’d become more free spirited when drinking alcohol. His taste in alcohol would consist of some of Japan’s finest beverages.
Asahi Super Dry
Taste: Dry and hoppy
At the beginning of the night, Sunfire would go for a classic Japanese beer like Asahi Super Dry. Easy to drink and crisp on the tongue, Asahi translates to ‘rising sun,’ a fitting drink for a man with solar powers.
Created in 1987 to address growing changes in Japanese diets, Asahi Super Dry is made with a mixture of hops and barley with a high starch content. A special yeast called Asahi #318 is added to the fermentation process, giving the drink its ‘dry’ taste.
Gekkeikan Bizan Clear Shochu
Taste: Fruity and light
Next, Yoshida would move onto a lighter drink like shochu. A type of sake, shochu is blended with a mixture of koji mold, buckwheat, sweet potato, barley, kokuto brown sugar and other ingredients. Sunfire would pick a fruity variation like Gekkeikan Bizan Clear, which has a smooth aftertaste.
I’d imagine Yoshida combining the shochu with hot water in a drinking experience called oyuwari. The hot water would help to release the flavours of the shochu and add extra intensity. Yoshida might favour the oyuwari approach during colder months and enjoy drinking shochu straight in the warmer seasons. The beauty of shochu is that there is no right or wrong way to drink it.
Genbei San No Onikoroshi Honjozo
Taste: Sweet and dry
While Sunfire doesn’t play well with other superheroes, I’d see him being more open after having a few drinks. He’d likely share sake with people who have earned his respect, like Wolverine, and close family members, such as Mariko Yashida.
His first nihonshu would be a sake that fell into the honjozo grade because of its powerful flavours. I’d see him picking Genbei-San No Onikoroshi, which has a delightful mixture of sweet and dry notes. With a name that translates to ‘demon slayer,’ the sake would appeal to Sunfire’s warrior instincts. He’d boast about the enemies he’d defeated while draining his cup.
Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve
Taste: Clean and smooth
After the heaviness of the honjozo sake, Sunfire would want to refresh his palette with a glass of Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve whiskyHakushu Distiller’s Reserve whisky. With notes of cucumber, fruit and mint, the Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve has the kind of clean sensation that Yoshida would be looking for.
Cel-24 Eternal Spring Junmai Ginjo
Taste: Sweet, fruity and creamy
After the whisky, Sunfire would call for another round of sake and go for a premium grade like the Junmai Ginjo Eternal Spring Cel-24 nihonshu. As a ginjo sake, the Eternal Spring has a robust sweet flavour that lingers on the tongue. A fruity aftertaste is created by the Cel-24 yeast used in the sake brewing process.
Sunfire would also enjoy the fact that the Eternal Spring is namazake, meaning that the drink is unpasteurised. The unpasturised nature of the Eternal Spring gives it a creamy texture that adds more complexity.
Ninki-Ichi Gold Junmai Daiginjo
Taste: Sweet and savoury
In the sake world, junmai daiginjo is considered by some to be the holy grail of nihonshu because of it being super premium. Sunfire would be a keen supporter of junmai daiginjo and save it until the end of the night. He’d choose a drink like Ninki-Ichi Gold and associate it with qualities of excellence and superior craftsmanship.
The Ninki-Ichi Gold contains notes of papaya and melon, while having a nutty aftertaste. Yoshida would enjoy the clash of sweet and savoury flavours. Well and truly drunk by this stage, Sunfire would probably end the night arguing with Wolverine about the merits of junmai and non-junmai sake.