Refreshing Boozy Cucumber Shochu Cocktail with Ice
Food - Drink
What Makes Shochu Unique?
Shochu is an effervescent, light, yet complex Japanese alcohol with an incredible depth of flavor and a dangerously smooth finish. It can be made using a huge variety of grains and vegetables, but usually has a relatively low ABV of 20% to 30%, making it the perfect spirit for anyone who dislikes the sting of alcohol in their throat.
Shochu was once hard to find outside of Japan, but its popularity in its home country is bringing it out of the woodwork. Shochu is distilled from koji, a type of fungus, and can undergo single-distillation, which yields a stronger flavor with more natural aromas, or a multiple-distillation, which gives it a milder taste and lower ABV.
Shochu is most commonly made from barley, rice, or sweet potato. Rice shochu (kome-shochu) has semi-floral notes of green apple, citrus, and melon, shochu made from barley (mugi-shochu) has a more roasted, mature flavor, and sweet potato shochu (imo-shochu) has a uniquely sweet and earthy aroma.
The most common way to serve shochu is to mix it with water on the rocks, which brings out its flavors, or try it in a shochu highball with sparkling water. Imo-shochu’s flavor profile is best suited for a one-to-one ratio of shochu to hot water, while other types are commonly mixed with a three-to-two ratio of spirit to cold water.