What is Japanese Shochu?

Japanese shochu is a traditional distilled alcoholic beverage that typically
contains 25-45% alcohol by volume. It is known for its diverse range of flavours
and is produced from a variety of ingredients including barley, sweet potatoes, rice, buckwheat, and sugar cane. Shochu is distinct from sake, which is brewed,
as shochu undergoes a distillation process.

Eikoh Junmai Shochu 'Kinra' 720ml

Brewing Process of Shochu

Preparation of Ingredients: The base ingredient (such as barley, sweet potatoes, or rice) is prepared. For example, sweet potatoes are washed, steamed, and mashed.

Koji Making: Koji mold (Aspergillus oryzae) is added to a portion of the base ingredient. This mold breaks down starches into fermentable sugars. The koji mixture is allowed to propagate over a few days in a warm and humid environment, creating koji rice or koji barley, depending on the base ingredient.

Primary Fermentation (Moto or Moromi): The koji is mixed with water and yeast to start fermentation in a process called "moto" or "moromi." This primary fermentation lasts several days, converting sugars into alcohol.

Secondary Fermentation: The mixture from the primary fermentation is then combined with the remaining base ingredient and more water, and left to ferment further. This secondary fermentation period can last anywhere from one to several weeks, developing the characteristic flavours of the shochu.

Distillation: After fermentation, the mash is distilled in a pot still. The distillation process can be done once (honkaku shochu) for a richer flavour profile or multiple times (korui shochu) for a purer, cleaner taste.

Maturation and Dilution: The distilled liquid is often aged in tanks or barrels for several months to years, allowing the flavors to mellow and develop
complexity. Before bottling, the shochu may be diluted with water to adjust
the alcohol content to the desired level.

Bottling: Finally, the shochu is filtered and bottled for consumption.

Kojika Ao Tonbo (Dragonfly) (Shochu) 720ml

Shochu can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, diluted with water (both cold and hot), or used as a base in cocktails. The variety of ingredients and production methods gives shochu a wide range of flavours and aromas, making it a versatile 
and beloved beverage in Japan.

Kojika Imo Shochu (Black koji) 720ml

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