Shochu FAQs

A few random questions I’m often asked.

Is shochu like sake? 

Only in that both are from Japan. Shochu is distilled like vodak while sake is brewed like beer.

Are shochu and soju the same? 

Only in that both are distilled. Korean soju is a multiply-distilled cheaply made bottom shelf spirit produced in massive factories while Japanese Honkaku Shochu (most of what’s available in overseas markets) are hand-crafted single distilled artisinal spirits made using traditional methods in rural Japan.

How strong is it? 

Virtually all export shochu is 24-25% alcohol (48-50) proof. This is higher than beer (3-9%), wine (12-15%), or sake (15-18%), but lower than most other spirits such as Vodka (35-44%), Whiskey (45-58%), or rum (35-50%). In Japan shochus can be as low as 12% and as high as 48%. Awamori is usually a little bit higher, ranging from 25-30% in the export market while ranging from 25-60% in Okinawa.

If you have other questions, please post them and we’ll aggregate them here.



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