Shochu Sour Recipe

By Timo Torner / Last updated on December 3, 2023

This Shochu Cocktail is a creative take on the sour template made with Shochu, lemon juice, yuzu juice, and yuzu-honey preserve.
Shochu Sour cocktail made with some Shochu

In this case, the Shochu Sour (or Yuzu Sour) follows the general template of sour drinks while keeping the recipe Japan-themed. It is based on the Japanese distilled liquor Shochu, sweetened with a yuzu and honey preserve, and uses a mix of yuzu and lime juice for the sour part.

Quick Facts Shochu Sour Cocktail

  • Method: shaken
  • Flavor profile: sweet & sour
  • How to serve it: straight up
  • Best glassware: Sour glass, Coupe glass
  • Alcohol content: ~ 12 - 19% ABV, 21.5 grams of alcohol per serving

As this recipe is packed with exotic ingredients, we will give more detailed explanations and recommendations below.

Shochu Sour cocktail made with some Shochu

Recipe Shochu Sour

A Shochu-based recipe for a delicious Japanese Sour cocktail.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: angostura, egg white, lemon juice, Shochu, yuzu
Servings: 1
Calories: 180kcal
Cost: $2.90


  • 1 Jigger
  • 1 Cocktail Shaker
  • 1 Hawthorne Strainer


  • 2 oz Kome Shochu
  • 0.5 oz Lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz Yuzu juice
  • 0.25 oz Yuzu honey preserve
  • 1 Egg white
  • 3 dash Angostura bitters


  • Add Shochu, lemon juice, yuzu juice, yuzu honey preserve, and egg white into a cocktail shaker and dry shake without ice for 10 seconds.
    2 oz Kome Shochu, 0.5 oz Lemon juice, 0.25 oz Yuzu juice, 0.25 oz Yuzu honey preserve, 1 Egg white
  • Open the shaker, add ice and shake again for 5 to 8 seconds.
  • Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with Angostura bitters.
    3 dash Angostura bitters


Serving: 4.25ozCalories: 180kcalCarbohydrates: 8.39gProtein: 3.62gFat: 0.04gSodium: 52.64mgPotassium: 74.96mgSugar: 7.09gVitamin C: 8.64mgCalcium: 5.6mgIron: 0.12mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Which Shochu in a Shochu Sour?

In this Shochu Sour, we prefer to use a Kome Shochu. Kome is a rice-based Shochu. If you taste this spirit neat, you can taste the slight sweetness of the rice shining through.

Alternatively, you could also opt for a Mugi Shochu. This type is made from barley and also has a slightly sweet taste. But overall, mugi is a bit less complex than kome.

Not only the type of Shochu you chose has a notable influence on the taste of this cocktail, but also the alcohol content of your bottle of choice. Usually, the ABV of the Japanese spirit ranges from 20 to 43%.

For cocktails, we recommend opting for a bottle with a higher alcohol content. Try, for instance, Iichiko Saiten made from barley, Takara Shochu Kome or Hakutake Shiro Kome. All three are great value for money and easy to get.

What is Yuzu Fruit?

Yuzu is a citrus fruit, most likely of Chinese origin, that grows all over East Asia. Yet, the yellow fruit is most popular in Japan and Korea.

Like lemons, you usually do not eat the yuzu fruit on its own. Instead, its fragrant peels and tangy juice are common ingredients in food and beverage recipes.

The taste of yuzu is best described as a cross between grapefruit and tangerine. To let the beautiful flavors of this fruit shine in our Shochu Sour, we do not only use yuzu juice but also yuzu honey preserve.

Japanese Yuzu fruit

Yuzu Honey Preserve

First and foremost, Yuzu honey preserve is a delightful in the Shochu Sour. Additionally, it is a beautiful spread on toast, topping for yogurt or sweetener in tea or other cocktails. To make this delicious preserve, you only need honey and yuzu fruit in equal measures:

  • 100g Yuzu fruit 
  • 100g Honey

Step 1: First, wash the yuzu fruit gently and thoroughly. Then, cut it into thin slices and remove the seeds.

Step 2: In the second step, add the thinly cut yuzu slices into a mason jar and cover them with honey completely. 

Step 3: Let the mixture sit in your fridge for 48 to 72 hours, and your yuzu honey preserve is ready to be mixed into your Shochu Sour Cocktail.

Tips for Mixing

The rule of squeezing citrus juice fresh for bar-quality cocktails goes for yuzu fruit, just like any other. We do not recommend taking any shortcuts here.

Further, we're using egg white for a nice foam and silky texture of our Shochu Cocktail. That means you should perform a dry shake first (no ice) and a wet shake second (with ice). That's not all, though:

The Yuzu preserve should be at room temperature when it goes into the shaker. That way it will mix better with the other ingredients. 

At the same time, you want your cocktail ice cold. Therefore, shake well with plenty of ice cubes. And since this drink is served straight up, you should also chill the glass before pouring your drink. 

EXTRA TIP: Use a glass with a stem like a coupe or a sour glass. That way, you don't warm up the drink with your hands while sipping.

More About Shochu

Shochu is a distilled liquor from Japan. In fact, Shochu is even the most popular alcoholic in the country of the rising sun. More popular than Sake (Nihnoshu), Japanese Whisky, and beer.

The Japanese spirit can be made from a variety of ingredients. The most common ones are sweet potato, rice, and barley. For a better overview, here's the list with other common types. Each has a unique set of aromas and flavors. So, picking a Shochu for a Shochu cocktail can be tricky:

  • 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)

Depending on the production method, Shochu is categorized as Honkaku (single-distillation) or Korui (multiple distillations) Shochu. Honkaku is regarded as superior because it's the traditional way of producing the spirit.

Related Recipes

You can drink Shochu neat, on the rocks, and in many other ways. Plus, it is a great ingredient in cocktails. - Not only in this Shochu Sour but also in a Chuhai or other Shochu Cocktails.

If you're in to amazing Sour cocktails and like the classics, opt for a:

The formula of base spirit, sweetener, and sour is a perfect match and works with all sorts of base spirits.

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