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Although this article in You Pouch is mostly about the celebrity promoting it, I’m more interested in the product – a new form of packaging for sake.

At first glance – even with a close look at the name, “The Shot” – it looks just like coffee in a plastic bottle, the kind you see in any vending machine or convenience store in Japan… except for the Gekkeikan logo.

Hiroji Miyamoto, vocalist of Elephant Kashimashi, also provided more than the pretty face PR. He came up with the idea of a sake just right for drinking whenever you want, easily, on a whim and at your own pace, and Gekkeikan turned that idea into The Shot.

The bottles are designed to be carried around casually, like a coffee, something that people don’t think about when they think about sake. The product tagline is “Whenever you want, sake, drunk as a shot”. [気のままに、日本酒、ショット飲み. The “ki no mama” has a wider meaning of “on a whim”.] Yayoi Saginomiya, author of the article, comments that it feels odd to drink sake as a shot, but the benefit of drinking it that way is that it naturally limits the amount consumed.

The new product comes in two varieties, Alluring Rich Honjozo (艶めくリッチ本醸造), described as sweet and rich, and Elegant Dry Daiginjo (華やぐドライ大吟醸), described as neither dry nor sweet and fairly light. Both are 15-16% abv, and come in 180 ml bottles costing JPY 250 before tax. They were released on 25 March 2019.

Click through to the article for lots of videos.

I’m not sure the products themselves are anything new, but the packaging and approach are – certainly attempting to tackle the image of sake as an “old man’s drink”.