Discovering Shochu: Episode 9 – Awamori & Kokuto Shochu

Awamori shochu of Okinawa is the oldest form of distilled liquor in Japan, and is known to be the origin of shochu. Among all shochu, Awamori is rather unique.  It uses Thai-harvested long grain rice, and through adding black koji, it converts the entire ingredient base into an all-koji base.  Furthermore, Awamori goes through a […]

Discovering Shochu: Episode 8 – Soba Shochu

TOWARI A unique shochu distilled only from Soba (buckwheat).  Savor the natural and rich flavor of 100% Soba Shochu. Enjoy TOWARI’s authentic flavor and aroma on the rocks, straight or with soba-yu wari soba water (water left in the pot after boiling soba). Distilled & Bottled by:  Takara Shuzo, Miyazaki, Japan 25% Alcohol by volume […]

Discovering Shochu: Episode 7 – Shochu Cocktails

On October 15th, 2011 Mutual Trading held its 23rd annual Japanese Restaurant Show. With respect to the year’s theme, “Japanese Cuisine: Advancing More to Mainstream Popularity,” Shochu booths were set between Food vendor booths – recreating a real life drinking and dining experience for guests. Shochu can be a more affordable offering to guests, as […]

Discovering Shochu: Episode 6 – Kome (rice) Shochu

Kome Shochu is said to be the original – the first shochu ever made.  This month, DISCOVER shochu will feature the history, characteristics, food pairings and serving suggestions for Kome Shochu.   There are different theories of how Kome Shochu came about, but the most accepted version is that it started during the 16th century […]

Discovering Shochu: Episode 5 – Barley Shochu

Last month, the focus was on Imo Shochu – its history, characteristics, food pairings and serving suggestions.  This month, DISCOVERING SHOCHU will feature all about Mugi Shochu.   It is said that the roots of Mugi Shochu dates back to the Edo period, from Iki Island located between Kyushu and the Korean Peninsula. The island […]

Discovering Shochu: Episode 4 – Imo Shochu (sweet potato)

The last three DISCOVERING SHOCHU articles have touched upon all ingredient types. The next few episodes will focus on each Shochu type, delving deeper into the history, characteristics, food pairings, and serving suggestions.  The first focus will feature Imo Shochu (sweet potato shochu).   Alike all potato families, Kansho sweet potatoes were said to have […]

Discovering Shochu: Episode 3 – Characteristics of Shochu by Ingredient

Honkaku Shochu, or traditional Shochu, represents Japan’s pride and true distillation art.  Moromi mash created using koji spores indigenous to Japan, and the use of single distillation yields distinct flavor characteristics and refined aroma highlighting the original ingredient.  And unlike many distilled spirits from around the world, there are various types of Honkaku Shochu differing […]

Discovering Shochu: Episode 2 – History of Shochu Pt. 2

Reasonating History and Geography of Its Heartland   Areas covering Kyushu and Okinawa are relatively small by comparison to Japan’s total land mass, however, they house more than half of the 470 total breweries producing Shochu in Japan.  What makes it so surprising is the myriad of interesting honkaku shochu products which have developed as […]

Discovering Shochu: Episode 1 – History of Shochu Pt. 1

Origin of the Distillation Technology   Research shows that distillation machines existed in Mesopotamia near present day Iraq, around 3000 BC. Westward in Europe, distillation machines developed alchemy, and eastward, in India, provided the modern technique to produce medicines and perfumes. Much later around the 13th century during the Yuan Dynasty in China, distillation machines […]