In the world of Japanese drinking overseas, sake tends to get all the attention. But often in Japan, particularly in Kyushu, the country’s southernmost island, the drink of choice is shochu.
Here are the most popular ways to drink shochu like a true local.
1. On the rocks
Shochu served chilled “on the rocks” is a refreshing way and most popular way of drinking shochu. This way of serving works best for aged mugi (barley) shochu or Imo (sweet potato).
Tips to Make Shochu on the Rocks
- Transparent ice made with mineral water or with water that has first been boiled
- Three or four big ice cubes
- Pour shochu directly into the ice#
2. Mizu-wari (watered down)
Most popular way of drinking spirits in Japan. Typically, about two parts of cold water are mixed with one part of the spirit and some ice. However, ration differs to shochu drinking to shochu 8: water 2.
Latest trend however, mixes shochu with water more than 24 hours before drinking. Molecules of shochu are smaller than those on water allowing this to mix homogeneously shochu 6: water 4.
3. Oyu-wari (hot water)
This method is recommended for Otsu-rui Shochu, with Imo (sweet potato) shochu being the best choice for it.
Shochu with Hot Water Formulas and Tips
- First, add the hot water, then pour shochu
- Hot water should be approximately 70 °C
- Recommended ratio shochu/hot water is 6:4 or 5:5
Straight is most recommended for all Otsu-type(otsu-rui) shochu, either cold or hot.
- Best to drink with a chaser on the side
- Preferably chilled in advance, ideally from the freezer
- Rich tasting shochu is best drunk at room temperature
The most traditional way to serving shochu.
First, prepare in advance and leave it overnight shochu 6: water 4, Kome (rice) shochu is better not mixed with water overnight.
Warm Shochu Tips
- Mix with water advance and warm to lukewarm slowly
- A ceramic vessel is best to warm it
- 45 °C is the optimum temperature
- Do not use a microwave
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