Shochu

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Japanese alcohol Shochu - distilled from barley or sweet potato

Japanese alcohol Shochu - distilled from barley or sweet potato

Shochu is a type of Japanese alcohol, often confused with sake. Unlike sake which is rice wine, shochu is distilled and is most often distilled from barley (mugi) or sweet potato (imo). Shochu contains approximately 25% ABV but can contain more, up to 45%, depending on the process of distillation. Although sake is believed to be the most common type of alcohol in Japan, shochu is actually more popular among the Japanese, and it oversold sake in recent years.

There are several ways to enjoy shochu. The first is by itself, neat. Another simple way is just with ice. Shochu can also be diluted with water or hot water to create mizuwari and oyuwari, respectively. For a less concentrated taste, shochu can be used to create cocktails by mixing it with oolong tea or juice. Oolong shochu is quite popular for those who wish to mix the shochu but not with juice to avoid the sweetness. Chuhai is another way to enjoy shochu, which mixes shochu, soda, and fruit flavor. Chuhai are popular options for younger drinkers and women. There are many different kinds of chuhai flavors including lemon, strawberry, grapefruit, etc. Hoppy is another option, which mixes shochu and low alcohol beer. Chuhai and hoppy can be easily found at convenience stores.


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