How to Drink

There are no rules for enjoying shochu.
Find the style that suits you best!

How to Drink

One of the great things about shochu is that it can be enjoyed in many different ways.
Try one, try them all--or even try something that's not listed here.

With Hot Water

The best way to bring out shochu's delicate fragrance and warm you to your core. This is a popular way to enjoy shochu in the fall and winter when the chill sets in. Explore not only different brands, but different proportions of hot water and shochu, until you find the flavor combination that's just right for you.

  • 1. First, add hot water to your glass.
  • 2. Next, quietly and carefully add the shochu. Since the shochu is cooler than the hot water, it will slowly settle at the bottom of the glass, gradually mixing with the hot water.
  • 3. Finally, adjust the ratio of shochu and hot water to raise or lower the strength to your liking.

On the Rocks

This is the best way to capture the true taste of shochu. The first few sips will have a sharp finish--like you're drinking it straight--but as the ice gradually melts and mixes with the shochu, the flavor profile begins to lose its edge, becoming smoother. Like an old friend, shochu on the rocks is worth taking the time to enjoy.

  • 1. Add quality, fresh cracked ice to your glass, preferably ice made with mineral water.
  • 2. Fill the glass about three-quarters of the way with shochu.
  • 3. Mix gently with a cocktail stirrer.
  • 4. Add more ice to fill the glass.
  • 5. Add more shochu.
  • 6. Let it sit for about three minutes--when condensation begins to form on the glass, your shochu is ready to drink!

With Water

Refreshing and thirst-quenching going down, shochu and water still has an oddly warming effect, and is great for those trying shochu for the first time or for people who are not big drinkers. The unobtrusive flavor of shochu also pairs perfectly with almost any kind of Japanese cuisine.

  • 1. Add quality, fresh cracked ice to your glass, preferably ice made with mineral water.
  • 2. Add as much shochu as you like--a 6:4 ratio of shochu to water is recommended.
  • 3. Mix with a cocktail stirrer, three times to the right, once to the left.
  • 4. Add more ice.
  • 5. Add an appropriate amount of chilled mineral water, then stir lightly two or three times.

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