Honkaku Shochu

The Basics: We know about sake, but what is shochu?

natural water Shochu is a Japanese distilled beverage. The difference between sake and shochu is like the difference between wine and liquor: there are many varieties of shochu, distilled from various ingredients (like sweet potatoes, rice, barley, buckwheat…) while sake is made only from rice, and is brewed and fermented like wine or beer. Shochu’s alcohol content is around 25% or higher, while sake’s is usually around 15%.

sweet potatoes All the different varieties of shochu we produce are called Honkaku Shochu. Honkaku literally means authentic or genuine shochu. To be labeled honkaku, a shochu has to fulfill certain criteria that are specified by Japanese law. Honkaku shochu is artisan-crafted, single pot-distilled (cheaper shochu is multi-distilled and industrially produced), from only one raw material (i.e. sweet potatoes or barley) plus the addition of koji (a type of fungus) for fermentation. This process retains the most flavours, the richest aromas and reflects the unique characteristics of its base ingredient.

Oishi Shuzo Distillery Co., Ltd.