Shochu cocktails are an interesting way to enjoy the distinctive Japanese spirit shochu. Shochu is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from potatoes, barley, buckwheat or rice. While shochu is often consumed straight, mixing it into cocktails allows the spirit to shine in new and creative combinations. The mild flavor of shochu marries well with a variety of mixers like juices, sodas and herbs.
Whether you’re looking to try something new or just want to expand your cocktail repertoire, shochu cocktails are worth exploring. The recipes are approachable for both shochu novices and seasoned drinkers. With its subtle taste, shochu takes on new dimensions when blended with other ingredients. You’re sure to find recipes that suit different tastes and occasions.
The Japanese Sidecar
This recipe is a twist on the classic sidecar cocktail. It features iichiko silhouette Shochu, triple sec, lemon juice, and orange bitters. The lemon juice and orange-flavored triple sec make for a rich citrus flavor that perfectly complements the potent taste of Shochu. To elevate the cocktail, even more, rim the glass with brown sugar, creating a toasty, complex flavor.
Shochu Apple Sour Cocktail
The Shochu in this recipe is slightly fruity with a strong tang that pairs well with fresh-squeezed apple juice. This sour cocktail uses Imo Shochu, apple juice, soda water, yuzu juice, and honey, for a sweet but tart beverage. Yuzu juice has a sweet, citrus flavor that subdues the harsh flavor of the Shochu.
Old Fashioned Samurai
Old-fashioned cocktails typically use whiskey as the main alcohol, but this recipe swaps it for barrel-aged Shochu. Along with Angostura bitters, a splash of soda water, and an orange peel, the result of this recipe is a flavorful drink that highlights the rich and oaky taste of this Shochu. You can use regular sugar to sweeten the drink or make it more authentic with black kokuto sugar.
Shikoku Mule – Yuzu Moscow Mule
Another Shochu cocktail that uses sweet yuzu juice is this twist on a mule cocktail. It’s a simple combination of yuzu, Shochu, and ginger beer, for a potent but pleasant drink. The ginger beer meshes with the distinct Shochu flavor easily, helping both flavors shine.
Meyer Lemon Shochu
This cocktail combines Shochu, simple syrup, lemon juice, and mint, for a sweet and refreshing beverage. The prominent lemon flavor creates a tart taste with bright citrus notes that work well with any Shochu. If you want a fruitier drink, opt for a fruit-based Shochu. Or use a grain-based Shochu for an earthy taste.
For a bubbly, sweet drink, make this yuzu pop. It uses Nankai Shochu, ginger ale, and yuzu juice, for a sparkling cocktail with an apple and citrus flavor. To make it sweeter, you can rim the glass with your favorite sugar. The drink has a well-balanced flavor suitable as a brunch cocktail or evening beverage.
This recipe involves more ingredients, using vodka, Shochu, ginger syrup, cucumber, and lime juice, for a distinct and delicious taste. The ginger syrup brings spice to the drink, while the cucumber softens the bite. The lime juice and alcohol pack a tasty punch that won’t overwhelm your palate.
This drink is a twist on the classic French 75 cocktail. The combination of Nankai Shochu, lemon juice, champagne, and simple syrup is easy to make but delightful. The champagne brings a gentle bubble to the drink, while the other ingredients foster a sweet, balanced flavor.