Like most popular Shochu cocktails, the Shochu Apple Sour is a regular serve in Izakaya restaurants in Japan. It tastes fruity, tangy, sweet, and refreshing with a delicate apple note.
Quick Facts Shochu Apple Sour Cocktail
- Method: build in glass
- Flavor profile: fruity, tangy, sweet
- How to serve it: over ice
- Best glassware: highball glass
- Alcohol content: ~ 10 - 13% ABV, 24 to 34 grams of alcohol per serving
In Japan, this combination of apple and Shochu is so popular that it's available in cans. These ready-to-drink Shochu cocktails contain 16% alcohol and are available in many supermarkets.
Yet, freshly made drinks will always beat a pre-mixed sip. So, here's how to make a Shochu Apple Sour cocktail at home.
- 1 Jigger
- 4 oz Imo Shochu
- 2.5 oz Freshly pressed apple juice
- 2.5 oz Chilled soda water
- 0.5 oz Freshly squeezed yuzu (or lemon) juice
- 0.5 oz Honey syrup
- Add ice into a highball glass and pour in the Shochu.4 oz Imo Shochu
- Then add apple juice, honey syrup, and yuzu juice.2.5 oz Freshly pressed apple juice, 0.5 oz Freshly squeezed yuzu (or lemon) juice, 0.5 oz Honey syrup
- Stir the mix until everything is combined.
- Top up with chilled soda water and garnish with apple slices.2.5 oz Chilled soda water
Ingredients & Recommendations
For making the Shochu Apple Sour cocktail, you need Shochu (Imo or Mugi) and freshly pressed apple juice. Further, to create a bit of complexity, citrus juice and honey syrup mix are added. Here's the full list of ingredients:
- Imo or Mugi Shochu: Imo Shochu means that you should pick a type made with sweet potato; Mugi is a type based on barley. Read below why and which ones we like to use.
- Fresh apple juice: use a juicy red or green apple variety with a tangy taste.
- Honey syrup: a mix of water and honey you can make at home in no time.
- Fresh yuzu juice: Yuzu is an Asian citrus fruit similar to lemons and the ideal option for cocktails made with Shochu.
- Chilled soda water: Before serving, the drink is topped up with chilled soda water, making it even more refreshing. Make sure it has enough fizz and comes straight out of the fridge.
PRO TIP: Use large, clear ice cubes for your drink. They will melt slower and chill your cocktail more effectively.
Which Shochu for the Shochu Apple Sour?
In this Shochu Apple Sour, it's important not to overpower the delicate notes of an apple. Therefore, you should choose a type that complements these flavors without being too intense.
My favorite option is a light Imo Shochu. This type is made from sweet potatoes, is quite aromatic but not too intense, and is commonly viewed as the best type of Shochu. It is also relatively sweet, complementing the sweet taste of freshly pressed apple juice.
If you prefer a less aromatic base spirit, pick a Mugi Shochu (based on barley). Mugi is also a little sweet but more subtle. It's comparable to a slightly sweet Vodka.
For Imo, we like to use Kurokirishima or the blue bottle from Daikai Sake Brewery. Both have 25% ABV but are hard to get outside Asia. Luckily, Mugi Shochu is easier to get. Here, we recommend the product of Mizu Shochu (35% ABV) for the Shochu Apple Sour Cocktail.
More Shochu Cocktails
Shochu is fantastic in mixed drinks, and usually, Shochu Cocktails are easy to make. So, why don't you try some other recipes:
- The Chu-hai Cocktail - An elegant Highball based on Shochu.
- The Oolong-hai - A grown-up version of iced tea spiked with Shochu.
- The Shochu Melon Citrus Cocktail - A refreshing cocktail with flavors of melon and citrus juice.
You can find more inspiration and recipes for Shochu cocktails in our article on the best Shochu Cocktails.
More About Shochu?
You most likely know Sake, the Japanese rice wine. Although the fermented wine is much more famous outside of the country, in Japan, Shochu is the most popular alcoholic beverage.
Shochu is a distilled spirit that can be made from a variety of ingredients. Further, depending on production style, it's categorized as traditional Honkaku Shochu or as (more modern) Kourui Shochu.
The base ingredient is of utmost importance. Thus, Shochu is divided into subtypes based on the components and region. The most common are:
- Imo (made from sweet potato)
- Mugi (made from barley )
- Kome (made from rice)
- Kokuto (made from brown sugar)
- Soba (made from buckwheat)
- Shiso (made from Shiso herb)
- Okinawan or Awamori (made in Okinawa)