Course Date and Time

September 09, 2019: 9:00am – 5:00pm (Lecture & Exam)

Course Location

New York Mutual Trading –  77 Metro Way, Secaucus, NJ 07094

Important Notice

  • Registration will close when course reaches capacity or the enrollment deadline (August 26, 2019) has passed. Please be advised, late registration may incur additional charges for textbook rush order shipment fees.


Prepare yourself for a career in the restaurant, beverage, or food industry with our Certified Shochu Adviser course. This course provides the fundamental background knowledge on shochu ingredients, history, and production. Students will gain the ability to speak about varieties of shochu. This interactive course features shochu tasting and discussion, so you can develop your knowledge about shochu with first-hand experience.


There are no entry requirements for this qualification.


The 1 hour written exam comprises of 100 multiple choice questions covering the textbook and lecture content. Blind tasting exam is not included at the Shochu Adviser level.

Note: The examination requires a minimum mark of 75% to pass.


Main Concepts:

    • The history of shochu in Japan
    • Shochu ingredients and production methods
    • Shochu terminology and reading shochu labels
    • The principles behind the storage, selection and service of shochu
    • Overview of shochu tasting and analysis

Study Support:

  • All students will receive a review guide for course preparation support. We encourage students to contact us in advance of the course if they have questions about their course materials.

Instructor: Stephen Lyman

Stephen discovered shochu at an izakaya in New York City before he’d ever been to Japan. Less than a decade later he’d become America’s leading expert on this traditional Japanese spirit, establishing the largest English language website for shochu information, Kampai.US. Since 2013 he’s worked every autumn at Yamatozakura, a handmade sweet potato shochu distillery in rural Kagoshima. In 2015 he became the first graduate of the Sake School of America’s Certified Shochu Adviser’s course, which he now teaches. He was subsequently tapped by the Japanese Sake and Shochu Makers Association (JSS) as their shochu consultant in New York City and on their behalf he’s spoken at venues ranging from the Consulate General of Japan to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans to Japan Society in Manhattan. In 2016 he was named an official Cool Japan ambassador for honkaku (authentic) shochu. He’s also the co-founder of Honkaku, LLC, a full service shochu consulting service focused on assisting shochu makers with export and distribution worldwide. Stephen is a university professor in his spare time.

Official Cool Japan Ambassador for Honkaku Shochu
1st graduate of the SSA Certified Shochu Adviser’s Course (2015)
Certified Sake Adviser, Sake Service Institute
Production Assistant, Yamatozakura Shuzo, Kagoshima, Japan
Founder & Editor,
Founder & Partner, Honkaku, LLC

Proctor: Ami Nakanishi