While Shochu has been a part of Japanese culture for centuries, it wasn’t until 2012 that Japan named Shochu a national alcoholic beverage alongside sake. Since this global debut, Shochu has become a nutty, earthy, clear liquor alternative for western white liquors, often called ‘Japanese Vodka’.
Made from a combination of distilled vegetables and grains, you can distinguish a warm earthy tone or even floral and fruity notes. While Shochu and Japanese Sake might share the title of Japan’s national alcoholic beverage, they are starkly different from one another. While sake is brewed with rice, Shochu is distilled with grains and vegetables like sweet potato. This makes Shochu the perfect drink for those that enjoy various cocktails with a Japanese twist or a mild-tasting but strong liquor with sweet hints of citrus and melon.
Shochu can be enjoyed in various ways and opens your palette to a new world of Japanese-inspired cocktails. While it offers added versatility in cocktail creation, you can enjoy it on the rocks (rokku) or dilute it with water or soda. When serving with water, you can choose the traditional way of mizuwari; with ice and water, or Oyuwari; mixed with hot water around 40-45℃ or straight.
Due to the earthy palette of Shochu, it can be paired easily with Japanese, Italian, French, Mexican or even Chinese cuisines. However, as each brand of Shochu will use a different combination of ingredients, these pairings may vary depending on your chosen brand.
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