Sake & Shochu Tasting
Time & Location
About the Event
(Copied from Wiki)
Shōchū should not be confused with sake, a brewed rice wine. Its taste is usually far less fruity and depends strongly on the nature of the starch used in the distilling process. Its flavor is often described as "nutty" or "earthy".
Shōchū is drunk in many ways according to season or personal taste:
- neat, i.e., on its own with nothing added
- on the rocks, i.e., mixed with ice
- diluted with room temperature water (水割り mizuwari) or hot water (お湯割り oyuwari)
- mixed with oolong tea or fruit juice
- as chūhai (shōchū highball), a mixed drink consisting of shōchū, soda, ice and some flavoring, often lemon, grapefruit, apple or ume (East Asian plum)
- mixed very cold with a beer-flavored mixer known as Hoppy
Shōchū is widely available in supermarkets, liquor stores and convenience stores in Japan while canned chuhai drinks are sold in some of Japan's ubiquitous vending machines. However, it is more difficult to find shōchū outside Japan except in urban areas with large enough Japanese populations. Interest in shōchū has begun to grow in North America, particularly in cosmopolitan cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto, and New York. Dedicated shōchū bars have begun to appear in New York and more than 100 brands are now available in the U.S. market.
In Kyūshū, the center of production, shōchū is far more common than sake. Indeed, here "sake" (酒) generally refers to shōchū, and is normally consumed mixed with hot water. First hot water is poured into the glass, then shōchū is gently added. The liquids mix naturally and stirring is unnecessary. Typically, the amount of shōchū exceeds the amount of hot water, and is enjoyed for its aroma. Occasionally, shōchū and water are mixed, left to stand for a day, and then gently heated.