When Mr. Henry has sushi one of the first things he needs to decide is what he is having. That is, what he is having to drink with tonight’s sushi.
As an appropriate accompaniment to sushi, sake is an obvious choice, and as it happens there is a perfectly respectable bottle already open in Her refrigerator. For lunch, green tea is always advisable because at this point in the career of Mr. Henry’s liver even half a beer at lunchtime leaves him feeling as if someone had thrown the sea anchor overboard. Forward progress is impeded and, heaven knows, he needs to be getting along with his life goals each and every day, and this includes afternoons.
Scotch is Mr. Henry’s personal favorite with sushi and with nearly everything else, for that matter.
A healthy pour of Oban or Talisker over ice cubes made from filtered water (more genius from the engineers at Sub-Zero) provides an ideal imbibational choice – strong enough to cut through the lingering fire of powdered wasabi, yet without the sugars of wine or the starches of beer.
White rice is as close to library paste as Mr. Henry’s educated palette will accept. When the short-grained is served chewy and lightly vinegared, however, scotch efficaciously clears away any lingering bits of hamachi or maguro, leaving the mouth ready to greet the next wiggling arrival.
When you elect to switch away from wasabi-based sauce toward a bit of eel, however, you need a more powerful cleansing of the palette, a thorough and abrupt alteration, the commencement of a new chapter in the evening’s unfolding novella. Here is where your choice of drink is key, and here is where you can change your whole meal, indeed, your whole approach. You might even say that your choice of drink determines your cultural identity, your very ethnicity.