Just by looking at the cocktail, you might be reminded of a closely related drink, the Midori Sour. But instead of being a 100% melon liqueur base, the Shochu Melon Citrus cocktail is made with equal parts of Shochu and Melon Liqueur.
It also is slightly higher in ABV because Midori usually contains 21%, and Shochu ranges somewhere between 20% - 30% ABV.
However, the difference is marginal. And the combination of earthy Shochu notes, fruity and sweet Melon liqueur, and acidic lemon juice make for an excellent and refreshing drink.
Both base liquors, Shochu and Midori, are traditional Japanese products and part of many cocktail recipes. But especially Shochu is not that well-known internationally.
-What actually is quite strange, considering, that in Japan, Shochu is more popular than Sake. And I bet you have heard of Sake before.
But back to this luscious Shochu cocktail. Here's what you need to make it at home.
Ingredient-wise, you don't need much to make a delicious Shochu Melon Citrus cocktail. But then, the ingredients themselves might be hard to get. Because even though Shochu is such a famous liquor in Japan, it's quite underrepresented outside of the country.
The availability keeps improving, though, since a few brands started expanding. But still, you might not find a good bottle in your local liquor store. But the store manager or your favorite shop online should be able to get you one.
For the Melon liqueur, you could use any Melon liqueur. But I highly recommend using Midori.
Apart from being the most sold Melon liqueur worldwide, it also is the standard ingredient the Japanese use to make this Shochu Melon & Citrus cocktail. Plus, Midori adds a fun, bright green color to your cocktail.
Besides these base ingredients, you only need freshly squeezed lemon juice and, optionally, a splash of soda water to make it more refreshing. But if you want to keep things traditional: In Japan, they serve it without the soda.
Shochu is a medium ABV liquor (20% - 30%) that can be made of various ingredients like rice, barley, sweet potatoes, and sugar cane.
Depending on the base, it will have a distinctly different taste. As mentioned before, Shochu is super popular in Japan and is often used in cocktails due to its earthy flavor.
Sometimes people confuse it with Sake, but the two spirits couldn't be more different. Sake is a fermented beverage similar to wine, whereas Shochu is a distilled spirit.
Also, Sake has a slightly lower amount of alcohol as it usually contains between 18% - 20% ABV.
Shochu is traditionally served neat, on the rocks, or diluted with water. It is enjoyable both hot and cold and served in traditional Shochu cups.
- 2 oz Shochu
- 2 oz Midori Melon liqueur
- 1 oz Fresh lemon juice
- Maraschino cherry or lemon slice (for garnish)
- Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake until the cocktail is chilled
- Strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish with a Maraschino cherry or slice of lemon (optional).