Shochu   焼酎

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Different kinds of shochu.

Spirits from the South

Distilled from sweet potato, rice, barley, or buckwheat, shochu is a popular drink with a unique taste.

Today, shochu is widely produced throughout Japan, but it is on the island of Kyushu that the liquor has its origins. One of shochu's unique ingredients is sweet potato, a common vegetable in Kyushu. Traditionally made from buckwheat, rice, barley or sweet potato, the ways to drink shochu are endless. Carrots, chestnuts, or brown sugar are also sometimes added to the mixture.

Enjoyed straight or on the rocks, the popularity of this drink continues to grow. It is also a popular base for cocktails.

Shochu is much stronger than sake or umeshu, at 20 to 45 percent alcohol.

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