Ways to Enjoy Shochu
Shochu Guide: Drinking Shochu
In our previous blog posts we have talked about some of the bases of shochu (焼酎) such as the difference between sake and shochu and the different types of shochu available. Here, we will show you how to enjoy your shochu to the fullest. Although there are many ways to drink shochu according to your taste preferences, we will show you some popular ways to drink them in our simple shochu guide here.
Shochu, like any other spirit, can be appreciated in many ways. You can drink it on the rocks, diluted with water/soda and also in cocktails or tea. However, the most common way to eat would be to mix shochu with cold or hot water. In addition, another favourite way to enjoy shochu would be in the form of chu-hi (shortened from “shochu highball”), where you mix shochu and soda.
Straight (or Neat)
Drinking shochu straight, or neat, is one of the best ways to enjoy the real taste of distilled shochu. Shochu being a distilled drink, can be drunk as it is and it does not to be chilled. However, you can also try it at different temperatures to see how the nuance of the drink changes. In general, if the shochu has a cleaner taste, it should be chilled while a rich-tasting shochu can be drunk at room temperature. We recommend a glass of cold water by your side to cleanse your palate or as a chaser. It is recommended to drink shochu straight for single distilled shochu (imo, kome and mugi shochu).
On the Rocks
Unsurprisingly, drinking shochu on the rocks is actually one of the most popular ways to enjoy Japanese shochu. Great on a hot day, especially here in sunny Singapore. Simply place the ice in the glass and pour in your favourite shochu. The melting of the ice helps to bring out the unique sweet scent of shochu that may not be present when drinking on its own. If you don’t want your shochu to be too diluted, keep in mind not to let your ice melt too much. Tip: The ice should not be made with tap water. Make it with boiled water or mineral water for best results. We recommend drinking shochu on the rocks for mugi or kokuto shochu, but generally great of all types of shochu.