A Brief Guide to Shochu
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Shōchū should not be confused with sake, a brewed rice wine. Its taste is usually far less fruity and depends strongly on the nature of the starch used in the distilling process. Its flavor is often described as "nutty" or "earthy".
Shōchū is drunk in many ways according to season or personal taste:
- Neat, i.e., on its own with nothing added.
- On the rocks, i.e., mixed with ice.
- Diluted with room temperature or hot water.
- Mixed with oolong tea or fruit juice.
- As chūhai, a mixed drink consisting of shōchū, soda, ice and some flavoring, often lemon, grapefruit, apple or ume.
- Mixed with a low-alcohol beer-flavored beverage known as hoppy;
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