Japanese shochu, the rise of the unknown

Although in Spain there are liqueurs of great quality, there are others around the world. Especially in the Eastern zone from Asia, where amazing drinks stand out. And, unlike what you may think, not only the Sake has a great world renown. In fact, there is a competitor who is hot on your heels, the japanese shochu. It is a somewhat unknown liquor in the West, but with a strong presence in the Japanese country. Would you be willing to give him a opportunity? Your restrictions on export they are relaxing. So, little by little, it will be easier for you to have it around the corner.

What is Japanese shochu?

In its literal tradition it means "Burnt alcohol". And, like sake, it is a very common distilled liquor in Japan. And it is that, in reality, despite the popularity of the latter, the truth is that shochu is the most consumed drink by the Japanese. As for its flavor, it should be noted that it is quite intense. This is so because it contains up to 30º of alcoholic graduation. Something far superior to sake, which only reaches 15.

Such graduation makes it perfect for pair with food, unlike other spirits. Referring to its appearance, the Japanese shochu has a lot to do with the vodka. In some places it is also known as the "Japanese vodka". Although, this statement is not correct at all. Well, the Japanese distillate has a lower graduation. So, its flavor is much more débil, complejo and with less alcohol.

Japanese shochu

Japanese sochu. Source: gatopardo.com

Ways to Taste Japanese Shochu

It could be said that this distillate has an infinite number of ways to taste it. Although, without a doubt, the best is Unmixed. To appreciate all its flavor. Only the drink is served with and without ice and ... to enjoy! However, the most popular way to taste shochu is with ice. Also known as style "On the rocks". Its acceptance is due to the similar way in the West to savor local liqueurs.

If none of the above options convince you, you can choose to enjoy it with agua. Both hot and cold. The amount of water depends on the consumer taste, that is to say about you. But, the recommended measures are usually 3 shochu for 2 water. And, this distillate can also be use for cocktails, combining it with soda. To this you will only have to add one lemon slice and you will get a very drink refreshing. Designed for these hot summer days.

 

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Little presence abroad

As we have mentioned before, the japanese shochu it is something unknown in the Western market. But, this has two main causes. The first one is that import restrictions of the European Union and the United States are very strong. Although, this is starting to relax. And, little by little, Japanese distilleries began to promote the drink in the foreign market.

And, on the other hand, the problem of "Color regulation" established in Japan for 70 years. This has become the biggest obstacle for the shochu. Said regulation consists in that the distillate of amber color, which has matured in barrels for a long time, cannot be shipped out of the country directly. In addition, it is mandatory that the color density is less than whiskey. About one tenth.

Japanese shochu

Japanese shochu. Source: Pixabay

Differences with sake

The main difference between Sake and shochum is that the first is fermented, like wine. By contrast, the other is distills, like whiskey. Also, they don't have the same flavor and are better enjoyed in ways different. And the thing is, shochu is designed so that its quality increases over time.

Even the components with which both drinks are made are very different. Sake is made from rice y sourdough pan. While its competitor can be made with numerous ingredients. For example, Sweet potato, barley, Brown sugar or even, sugar cane. You just have to try several of them and discover your favorite.

Surely you have not yet had the chance to try this great drink. But would you give him a opportunity? It is completely sure that its flavor will surprise you and you will have no choice but to incorporate it into your celebrations. Never comes a oriental touch in the table.

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