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 well as profitable to the businesses. Combined with its health benefits it is easy to understand why Shochu has advanced more to mainstream popularity. The biggest selling points for Shochu for both the restaurant trade professionals and the consumers are that, (1) it can be served/enjoyed at varying temperatures, and (2) it can be served/enjoyed in many ways – straight, on the rocks, oyuwari, mizuwari, with fruit or as a cocktail. Furthermore, California’s unique liquor license law allows restaurants with beer and wine licenses to handle Shochu with less than 24% alcohol content. Surprisingly, not many restaurants take advantage of this.




Any Shochu connoisseur would say that the best way to enjoy shochu is the traditional way – straight, on the rocks, mizuwari or oyuwari. With that said, Shochu cocktails are sexier and are a more fun way to enjoy Shochu. It’s not only easy to make, it adds pizzazz to the drinks menu. As demonstrated by Skyey Chang (Far Bar) at the Shochu seminar, there are endless ways of arranging shochu cocktails.


During the seminar, it was apparent how curious the attendees were. From a simple demonstration, the seminar took a lively turn as guests fired off questions after another eager to learn more of this latest trend. Here are some of the show attendee’s favorite Shochu cocktail recipes introduced at the Restaurant Show.




“Being a good mixologist is not about using fancy ingredients, it’s about balance. I bring my life to drink and drink to life, being my own life mixologist!”


Trained in Taiwan, Skyey started at a 5 star hotel working his way to a different bar and pub scene exposing himself to different mixology culture and styles. He’s currently working at Far Bar in Little Tokyo.


SHOCHU COCKTAIL – Presented by Mr. Skyey Chang from Far Bar


Serene Tea


3 Thin Slices of Cucumber

1 Lemon Twist

½ pc Cherry Tomato

2 oz iichiko Seirin

0.75 oz Green Tea


1. Place cucumber, lemon twist and cherry tomato in bottom of glass and buddle it together. Add iichiko Seirin and 1 scoop of ice.

2. Stir and strain into a chilled martini glass. Pour in green tea and garnish with a slice of cucumber.


Orange Blossom


1 Full Circle Slice of Orange

2.5 oz Hakutake Shiro

0.5 oz Ginger Ale


1. Place a full circle slice of orange in bottom of glass. Add Hakutake Shiro and 1 scoop of ice

2. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Pour ginger ale and garnish with an orange twist.


Gingerous Wave


4 Thin Slices of Fresh Ginger

2 pc Mint Leaves

2.5 Shiranami

0.5 Hi-Sour Green Apple Mix


1. Place ginger and mint in bottom of glass and muddle it till you can smell them. Add Shiranami and 1 scoop of ice.

2. Shake or stir well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Pour in sour green apple mix and garnish with a slice of ginger.