Shochu is a traditional Japanese distilled spirit that is typically made from various ingredients such as barley, rice, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, and sugar cane. It is similar to other distilled spirits like vodka and whiskey, but it has a distinct production process and flavor profile that sets it apart. Shochu is often consumed straight, on the rocks, or as a base for cocktails.

Shochu made with sweet potatoes, known as "imo shochu," is one of the popular varieties of shochu. It is primarily produced in regions of Japan where sweet potatoes are abundant, such as Kyushu.

There are a few reasons why sweet potato shochu is considered better by some people:

Flavour Complexity.

Sweet potato shochu tends to have a more complex and robust flavor profile compared to shochu made from other ingredients. The sweet potatoes contribute a unique sweetness and earthy character to the spirit, which can be enjoyed by itself or in cocktails.


Sweet potato shochu often has a distinct and pleasant aroma that adds to the overall drinking experience. The aroma can vary depending on the specific type of sweet potato used and the production methods.

Regional Variation

Different types of sweet potatoes are used to produce shochu, and each variety imparts its own characteristics to the final product. This leads to a diverse range of flavors and aromas in sweet potato shochu, allowing consumers to explore various profiles.

Cultural Significance

In regions where sweet potatoes are a staple crop, such as Kyushu, the production of sweet potato shochu has become a cultural tradition. The connection to the local ingredients and traditions adds a layer of authenticity and appreciation to the drink.

Kojika Imo Shochu (Black koji) 720ml


The production of sweet potato shochu often involves traditional and artisanal methods. Craftsmen take pride in selecting the best ingredients, fermenting the mash, and distilling the spirit to achieve the desired flavor characteristics.

It's important to note that taste preferences are subjective, and while some people might prefer sweet potato shochu for its unique qualities, others may prefer shochu made from different ingredients. Exploring different varieties of shochu can be a delightful journey for those interested in Japanese spirits and culture.

Kojika shochu is made with carefully selected ingredients like groundwater from the foot of the surrounding laurel-forested mountains and sweet potatoes grown just in time for the distilling season.

Sweet potato shochu is produced from September to November, during which time you can tour the distillery while it is in action.
※If you wish to take a tour, please contact the distillery in advance.

If you are from Perth you may be interested to know that the sister city of Perth in Japan is Kagoshima, where Kojika is based.

How to drink

Shochu can be enjoyed in various ways, depending on personal preferences and cultural traditions. Here are some common ways to drink shochu:

1) Straight (Neat): Many people enjoy savoring the flavors and aromas of shochu by drinking it straight, also known as drinking it "neat." This allows you to experience the full complexity of the spirit without any dilution or mixers. Serve it in a small glass or ceramic cup at room temperature or slightly chilled.

2) On the Rocks: Some people prefer to enjoy shochu over ice. Adding a few ice cubes can slightly chill the spirit and mellow out its flavors, making it a refreshing option.

3) With Water (Mizuwari): Mixing shochu with water, a style known as "mizuwari," is a popular way to enjoy it in Japan. The addition of water helps open up the flavors and aromas, making the shochu more approachable and enjoyable. The ratio of water to shochu can vary based on personal preference.

4) With Hot Water (Oyuwari): In colder months, shochu can be mixed with hot water, creating a warm and soothing drink. This method is called "oyuwari." It's similar to the concept of hot sake.

5) Cocktails: Shochu can be used as a base spirit in a wide range of cocktails. Its diverse flavor profile makes it a versatile ingredient for mixing. Some popular cocktails made with shochu include the "Shochu Sour," "Chu-Hi" (shochu highball), and various fruit-based concoctions.

6) With Mixers: Mixing shochu with fruit juices, sodas, or other mixers can create refreshing and flavorful drinks. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite mix.

Food Pairings

Shochu is often enjoyed alongside meals. Its lower alcohol content compared to some other spirits makes it a good choice for pairing with a variety of foods, from traditional Japanese dishes to international cuisine.

Remember that the way you choose to drink shochu is a matter of personal preference. The best way to enjoy it is the way that you find most enjoyable. It's also a good idea to consider the characteristics of the specific type of shochu you have, as different varieties and brands can have unique flavor profiles that may pair better with certain drinking methods or mixers

Kojika Imo Shochu (white koji) 900ml

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