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What is Japanese alcohol?

Japan's drinking traditions date back to the third century, and over that time, they have developed a range of fermented and distilled spirits. The most popular types of alcohol in Japan are beer, Japanese whisky, shochu, sake, and plum wine. Drinking parties, where people are encouraged to empty their cups are an important aspect of Japan's social and business culture. Did you know the Japanese toast gan bei means "bottoms up"?

Where does Japanese liquor come from?

Most Japanese liquor, from sake and shochu to whisky and beer, is made right on the island of Japan. The big three beer brewers–Kirin, Asahi, and Sapporo–make plenty of beer for the domestic market and export as well. Regional breweries make most sake, a fermented rice beverage that is called nihonshu in Japan. Distilleries around Japan make the spirit shochu with sweet potato, barley, buckwheat, or other starchy foods. Japanese whisky has been made since the 1870s, and it expanded in 1924 when the Yamazaki distillery opened.

What are popular styles of Japanese liquor?

There is a range of popular Japanese spirits, and each one has different styles. The most popular drink in Japan is beer, followed by Japanese whisky, shochu, sake, and plum wine.

What is the most popular alcoholic drink in Japan?

The most popular alcoholic drink in Japan is beer. Many evenings of socializing start with the phrase: "Let's have a beer." The next most popular drink is whisky, either one distilled in Japan by a brand like Yamazaki, Nikka, or Suntory, or an imported Scotch whisky.

What is Japanese white liquor?

Japanese white liquor is a type of flavorless shochu spirit that is used to make homemade plum wine called umeshu. In season, people combine fresh, tart green plums and rock sugar and soak the mixture in white liquor, a shochu with 35% alcohol.

What is shochu drink?

Shochu drink is a cocktail that starts with the Japanese spirit shochu as a base. Then other flavors and mixers like fruit juice, soft drinks, or club soda are added to make a lighter, more refreshing drink. Probably the favorite shochu drink is a Lemon Sour, a blend of sweetened lemon juice, club soda, and shochu. It's also made with other citrus, such as grapefruit, yuzu, and lime. Another popular shochu drink is Oolong Hai, which mixes shochu with oolong tea. Shochu comes in different levels, and most mixed drinks are made with mugi shochu.

Is sake a hard liquor?

Sake is not a hard liquor. Hard liquors are ones like vodka and Japanese shochu that have been distilled to concentrate the flavor and raise the alcohol level. Sake is fermented, so it is more similar to beer.

What's the difference between Whiskey and Japanese Whisky?

Japanese whisky is a style of international whisky that happens to be made in Japan. Yamazaki, the first commercial Japanese whisky distillery, was founded in 1924 and used local grains and European-inspired methods to make their spirit. Suntory now owns it. Currently, there are eight whisky distilleries in Japan. There's really no such thing as Japanese Scotch because Scotch can only come from Scotland. But the best Japanese whisky is most similar to Scotch because it's made from malted barley that's distilled in one location.

What are popular brands of Japanese liquor?

Total Wine & More carries all the most popular brands of Japanese spirits. With our wide selection of fine Japanese whisky and shochu, you're sure to find one that you'll enjoy. Our assortment of Japanese liquor includes: