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Shochu is a Japanese spirit made by distilling a wide variety of base ingredients, the main ones being rice, barley and sweet potato. Shochu could be described as somewhere between vodka and whisky. Containing 25 to 40% ABV, it is aged, but never to the point that its colour could be compared to that of a cognac or whisky. There are two main types: ‘honkaku shochu’, which is distilled once in a pot still, and ‘korui’, generally of lower quality, which is distilled in continuous stills on a more industrial basis. In Japan, it is often drunk during a meal with cold (or hot) water, ice, or soda water.

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