Shochu (“show-chew”) is like an ultra smooth white whisky, softer and lighter. In Japan, it’s been more popular than sake the last 15 years! Ours is made right here in the U.S.: a New American Spirit!
What’s Shochu Like?
Shochu mixes well with everything. There are endless possibilities. Shochu and …fruit sodas …oolong or green tea ….juices …even beer! It makes for new, light cocktails, just the way you’d like. Experiment! We think you’ll love it! Then again, shochu connoisseurs also enjoy premium shochu straight or on ice. In Japan, shochu cocktails are called Chuhai (“chew-high”), shoCHU-HIghballs
Why American Shochu Company?
Well, first of all, we’re the *only* shochu distillery in North America!
We make our shochu right here in Frederick, Maryland, where there is a lively growing community of craft distilleries, breweries and wineries. And we’re pioneering a totally new distilled spirit in America! Our shochu has been taste-tested by the Chairman and execs of the Brewing Society of Japan. Their comment was, “Amano-san, you have shochu. Please sell it in America, where it’s not well known!”
Is Shochu like Sake?
Shochu is a distilled spirit, more like whisky or vodka. Sake is fermented, or brewed, more like beer.
Shochu is bottled typically at 24–25% alcohol by volume, although it can be higher or lower (we have a 40% line in the works). It can be mixed (making a drink that is around 5–10%) or taken straight or on the rocks.
Sake is typically 15–16% ABV (Japanese law says less than 22%), and is almost always taken straight.
Is Shochu like Vodka?
Shochu is often compared to vodka, and the two are similar in both being distilled and typically clear, white spirits.
The big differences are (1) vodka is always mutiple distilled, and/or filtered, to get the definitional “without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color”. Honkaku Shochu, or Genuine Shochu like our Umai! Shochu is single distilled much like a whisky, and we also don’t filter, so we retain the character of the grain; and (2) vodka, like all western spirits, uses malted barley to sugarize the starches. Making shochu involves koji, or Aspergillus luchuensis. Koji is also used in making miso, soy sauce, and sake, but those actually use different species of Aspergillus. With shochu, we use A. luchuensis.
The USDA first entered Aspergillus awamori, Aspergillus luchuensis, and Aspergillus luchuensis mut. kawachi into their database (that would be all the shochu Aspergilluses, folks) when Taka registered to import A. luchuensis!
The spirits we have available currently are:
• UMAI! Organic Barley Shochu 24% 375ml
• UMAI! Organic Barley Shochu 24% 50ml
• UMAI! Organic Barley Shochu 24% 750ml (brand new!)
• Roy’s Demon Organic Barley Shochu 40% 750ml (brand new!)
UMAI! is Our Flagship Shochu
The most common reaction we get is, “that’s smooth!” Enjoy it straight, on the rocks, or with your favorite mixer. Bottled at 24% Alcohol/Volume, 375ml and now available in 750ml!
UMAI! Organic Barley Shochu — Spirits distilled from grain: Ingredients: R.O. (Reverse Osmosis) Water, Organic Barley, Yeast and Koji. Distilled and Bottled at American Shochu Company in Frederick, Maryland.
Roy’s Demon is Our Whiskey-Lover’s Shochu!
Still made from 100% Organic Barley, still a shochu, not a whiskey—not aged in oak—but still super smooth!
Where to Find Shochu
See us every Sunday at
Bethesda Central Farm Market
and they have an online shop, Liquor Express,
that delivers nationwide!
Our Liquor Stores:
All 25 Montgomery County Liquor & Wine locations:
Come Visit Our Frederick Maryland Distillery Location!