Japan's other national drink
Shochu is a distilled spirit that is unique to Japan. The very best styles of shochu are single distilled to retain the original character of the base material and are called Honkaku shochu (translates as authentic shochu). Multiple distilled versions exist but for the connoisseur there is only one choice. ABV is generally about 25% and is it enjoyed straight up, on the rocks or with added hot or cold water.
To maintain the integrity of Honkaku shochu the Japanese government has limited the distillable materials to a strict list as well as placing restrictions on the way Honkaku shochu is made. This is to protect the characteristics of shochu and not to confuse it with rum, brandy, vodka and other spirits.
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