Shochu（焼酎）is a Japanese distilled spirit which can be made from various ingredients such as sweet potatoes rice, barley, buckwheat, and many others. Shochu has earned the appellation “KOKUSHU: National Alcoholic Spirits” because it embodies the essence of Japan.
It is said that alcoholic spirits were first distilled by ancienc Arabic alchemists in their search for the spirit of eternal youth. When the skills of distillation then spread all over the world, regional spirits such as whiskey, rum, brandy, vodka, and shochu were born.
The Chinese characters for Shochu（焼酎）literally mean “burnt liquor”. This word first appeared in Japanese documents around 500 years ago.
Honkaku Shochu is in legal terms a “single distilled shochu”. It is produced in a “single distillation still” from the moromi broth made in sake production. This traditional single distillation method ensures the rich authentic and natural flavours are preserved.
Shochu is a versatile beverage which can be enjoyed in various ways. Some of the most popular ways of drinking it are:
On the rocks: Poured onto a glass of ice cubes straight from the bottle. For those who enjoy the strong aroma and taste of shochu, this would be the choice.
Mizuwari: Mixed with water and some ice cubes. Dilutes the shochu while still retaining its original flavors and thus it is easier to drink.
Oyuwari: Mixed with hot water. The addition of hot water makes the aroma bright yet mild. In cold weather, this will warm up the body nicely.
Sodawari: Mixed with soda water. Combined with soda each sip of the drink will be very refreshing and thirst-quenching.
Cocktails: The possibilities are endless. From Chuhai (an abbreviation of shochu high-ball) to Oolong-hai (shochu mixed with oolong tea) and many other options, there is surely a recipe tailored to suit everyone’s taste buds.