Although shochu has recently become much more popular than sake in Japan, the reality is that shochu is not as popular as sake in the U.S. Some people don't even know the meaning of the term "shochu." In this case, wait staff will have to educate the customer and recommend ways for enjoying this new drink. We suggest that the wait staff should know the following things, and the recommendations are based on the level of the customer's knowledge about shochu.Read More
Shochu, Japanese Distilled Spirit
Shochu is another alcoholic beverage imported directly from Japan. The difference between Japanese sake and shochu is that Japanese sake is categorized as brewed liquor, but shochu is categorized as distilled liquor and is in the same category as whiskey, scotch, and vodka.
Shochu is made with several raw ingredients and is usually produced in warmer regions like the southern area of Japan. Currently there are approximately 635 different shochu sakaguras (distilleries; Otsu type) that have come a long way in developing many new remarkable shochus.
Within the past couple of years, there has been a huge shochu boom taking place in Japan, and the consumption of shochu has increased dramatically.
There is no set rule for drinking shochu, but there are preferred ways to drink it. Generally there are five ways to serve shochu. How it is served changes how one will experience and enjoy the many different characteristic tastes and aromas.Read More
Rice Steaming Stage
The steaming process helps to make the dissolving of rice starch easier and also provides a sterilizing effect.
Koji is made by sprinkling koji-kin(aspergillus oryzae) on steamed rice that has been cooled to 95 ℉ - 104℉. Koji-kin is used in shochu production to break down the starches in steamed rice into fermentable sugars. It takes about two days to make koji
Technically shochu does not have a shelf life since distilled alcoholic beverages are not so high in sugar and/or protein content. Shochu is usually more than 25% in alcohol content, so technically it can be enjoyed for a long time without risk of decomposition. Many times people age shochu more, just as whiskey enthusiasts prefer well-aged bottles.Read More
Koji-kin (aspergillus oryzae) is the mold used in shochu production to break down the starches in steamed rice or sweet potatoes into fermentable sugars so that the yeast can then begin their job of converting the sugar into alcohol. Koji-kin is very, very important in producing or affecting the taste of the final shochu.Read More
Japanese sake is made from rice, just as wine is made from grapes. But shochu (Otsutype shochu) can be made from a variety of raw materials. Each material imparts a different unique flavor and aroma profile to the final shochu. The high-quality ingredients have to be selected carefully and are usually produced in the same region where the shochu is made.Read More