Shochu is a Japanese distilled spirit often used in Japanese Highballs. One of these Highball cocktails is the Shochu Apple Sour.
Like most popular Shochu cocktails, this drink is a regular serve in Izakaya restaurants. It's a fruity, tangy, sweet, and refreshing cocktail with a delicate apple note.
In Japan, the 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.
But as freshly made drinks always beat a pre-mixed sip, here's how to make a Shochu Apple Sour cocktail at home.
What is Shochu?
You most likely know Sake, the Japanese rice wine. But although the fermented wine is much more famous outside of the country, in Japan, Shochu is the most popular alcoholic spirit.
Shochu is a distilled spirit that can be made from a whole variety of ingredients. Depending on the production style, it's either categorized as traditional Honkaku Shochu or as more modern Kourui Shochu.
Also, the base ingredient is of utmost importance. Thus, Shochu is divided into subtypes based on the components and region. The most common types are:
- Imo Shochu (made from sweet potato)
- Mugi Shochu (made from barley )
- Kome Shochu (made from rice)
- Kokuto Shochu (made from brown sugar)
- Soba Shochu (made from buckwheat)
- Shiso Shochu (made from Shiso herb)
- Okinawan or Awamori Shochu (made in Okinawa)
Which Shochu in a Shochu Apple Sour?
In this Shochu Apple Sour, it's important not to overpower the delicate notes of an apple.
Apples usually taste only slightly sweet and a bit tart. Therefore you should choose a Shochu that complements these flavors without overpowering them.
My recommended option is a light Imo Shochu. This type is made from sweet potatoes.
Imo Shochu is quite aromatic and commonly viewed as the best type of Shochu.
It is also quite sweet, complementing the sweet taste of freshly pressed apple juice.
If you prefer a less aromatic base spirit, you could also opt for Mugi Shochu (barley). Mugi is also a little sweet but has less flavor overall. It's comparable to a slightly sweet Vodka.
For making the Shochu Apple Sour cocktail, you need Shochu (Imo or Mugi) and freshly pressed apple juice.
Further, to add a bit of complexity to the drink, citrus juice, and honey syrup mix are added.
Before serving, the drink is topped up with chilled soda water making the cocktail even more refreshing. So, here's the full list of ingredients:
- Imo Shochu
- Freshly pressed apple juice
- Honey syrup
- Freshly squeezed yuzu juice
- Chilled soda water
- clear ice cubes
More Shochu cocktails
Shochu is fantastic in mixed drinks, and most Shochu cocktail recipes are easy to make. Why don't you try some other recipes like
- the Chu-hai cocktail - An elegant Highball based on Shochu.
- Oolong-hai - A grown-up version of iced tea spiked with Shochu.
- Shochu melon citrus cocktail - A refreshing cocktail with notes of melon and citrus juice.
You can find more inspiration and the recipes for Shochu cocktails in our article on the best Shochu cocktails.
- 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.
- Then add apple juice, honey syrup, and yuzu juice.
- Stir the mix until everything is combined.
- Top up with chilled soda water and garnish with apple slices.
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