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Japanese Shochu 101; How To Drink Mizuwari Shochu

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Due to the restrictions or chaos, you enjoy drinking at home more than before.

You may want to try the different spirits that you have never tried.

Japanese Shochu, one of the traditional spirits in Japan, the history is said actually longer than Japanese Sake.

Many people think Shochu and Sake are the same spirits, but it’s totally different types of spirits.

But, you who are visiting this post know it already.

If you want to know Shochu basics like “what’s Japanese Shochu?”, please check out this post.

This post focuses on Mizuwari Shochu, which is one of the popular (basic) ways to drink Shochu-mixing Shochu with cold/room temperature water.

What’s the golden ratio?
What’s the order rule to pure Shochu and water?

Let’s dive into Mizuwari Shochu.

The Golden Ratio For Making Mizuwari Shochu

Yeah, ahh, everyone wants to know the golden ratio for everything.

The perfect balance between shochu and water for serving the perfect Mizuwari.

Even if you call the golden ratio of Mizuwari shochu, the golden ratio depends on the type of Shochu and personal taste preference.

Everything you need to know for the perfect shochu-to-water serving ratio is commonly a 6: 4.

This golden ratio is simply a guide to help you figure out how much water and Shochu you may want to use for drinking any type of Shochu.

Since the shochu is clear, light, smooth, (maybe sweet), the ratio can be changed into a 5:5.

For example, Iichiko, which has rich flavor even mixed with the water and also the after taste is enough flavorful in the mouth, so you can enjoy the ratio iichiko shochu of the water in a 5:5.

Since you want to reduce Shochu flavor (sometimes potato shochu feel strong habit), you can add more water.

The Certain Order For Poring Shochu To Make Mizuwari

What is a pouring order to make the best Shochu Mizuwari?

Here are the best pours are broken down,

Fill a cold glass with ice and pour Shochu onto the ice.

Yes, chill the glass in a refrigerator in advance.

Simply place the glass in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and take it out just before you pour the drink.

Then, gently stir the shochu and ice before adding water to cool the shochu with ice.

Add water and stir a couple of times to complete Mizuwari shochu.

If you pour the shochu first and add the water, the water will naturally go down to the bottom and naturally mix with the shochu.

It occurs because the specific gravity of water is higher than that of shochu when the temperature of the water is the same as the shochu.

Can You Refrigerate Shochu?

When chilling the Shochu in a refrigerator, its taste becomes clear and light, on the contrary, the sweetness will be less.

To make Mizuwari or other Shochu cocktails, the cold shochu is handy and the taste will be refreshing, however, it’s better to use the shochu at room temperature if you want to taste sweetness or fruity flavor in the Shochu you bought.

The Best Ice For Mizuwari Shochu

The shape and size impact the taste of Mizuwari shochu.

Better ice for Mizuwari Shochu, you can taste better the shochu.

Believe in the importance of ice. Imgine classic bars in Japan. They invest in better ice to serve the clearest and highest quality ice for their best orders.

Now, we can take it a step further by paying attention to our own ice.

you want to bring out the aroma and flavor of shochu more, use large rock ice especially made of purified soft water.

If you prefer refreshing mizuwari Shochu to quint your thirst, use crushed ice.

Why You Shoulc Not Use Hard Water To Make Cocktails

Don’t use ice made of hard water to make any cocktails such as highball, sour.

I explain in this post.

Hard Water VS Soft Water

Light, smooth, or delicate attributes in Mizuwari Shochu can come from a number of different sources including the water to use.

In order to enhance (or keep) the delicate flavor of shochu, it is recommended to use soft water.

Japanese natural water is mostly soft water (ph 5.6 – oh 8.6) and shochu is made of it.

Although natural water in Okinawa is hard water, however, using soft water is recommended to make Mizuwari Shochu with Awamori.

Thus, Japanese shochu goes well with soft water.


Yet, some Awamori enthusiasms prefer to use hard water to bring a sharp taste in it.

Generally, soft water makes Mizuwari shochu rounded flavor and hard water makes it a sharp and dry flavor.

Personally, I recommended using soft water, because I can’t feel the original Shochu taste when using hard water.

Awamori or some sweet potato shochu which has strong habits in their flavors, the combination of those shochu and hard water can create the different flavor.

Besides, Mizuwari with hard water is likely preferred when enjoying it with a meal since sharp mizuwari shochu can refresh your mouth.

The Alcohol Content Of Mizuwari Shochu

The alcohol content of Mizuwari Shochu at the ratio of shochu 6: 4 water varies depending on the Shochu.

Roughly speaking, the alcohol content in Japanese shochu varies on the type of Shochu.

As I said in this post, Shochu products in Japan are classified into two categories: Otsurui Shochi which is made by a single distillation, and Korui Shochu made by the multiple distillation.

So, how the alcohol content level will be changed when you make Mizuwari at the golden ratio (a 6: 4), Mizuwari made of 35% korui shochu will be around 21%, and Mizuwari made of 25% Otsu Shochu will be around 15%.

The Average Alcohol Content Level In Otsurui Shochu

The average alcohol content in Otsurui Shochu is around 25%.

  • Iichiko (barley) 25% ABV
  • Shiro (rice) 25% ABV
  • Yokaichi (barley) 24% ABV
  • Kuro Kirishima (sweet potato) 25% ABV

The Average Alcohol Content Level In Korui Shochu

The average alcohol content in Korui Shochu available in the US is 20%, 25%, 35%.

In Japan, it is a little different, and the average alcohol content in Korui Shochu is around 35%.

  • Kinmiya 20% / 25%
  • TAKARA SHOCHU Gokujo 25%

How Many Calories Does Mizuwari Shochu Have?

First, shochu is distilled spirit known for low calories.

Therefore, the calories in shochu are lower than those of beer, wine, and sake.

Generally, mizuwari shochu mixed 25% shochu with pure water is 103kcal per 200ml, which is 52kcal when converted to 100g.

Misuwari shochu is just mixed shochu with pure water, now, let’s break down the shochu calories.

*200ml is about 6.8 fluid ounces.

How Many Calories Does Japanese Shochu Have?

As I said, there are two categories of shochu and the calories differ between these categories since each type has a different distillation process, raw materials, and alcohol content.

Generally, the average calories in Korui shochu are about 206 kcal/100g, and
Osurui shochu has 146 kcal/ 100g.

*100g is about 3.5 oz.

*Souce (in Japanese);

The Best Glass For Mizuwari Shochu

Generally, thin glass is preferred to enhance the atmosphere and flavor of Shochu.

“Adelia Glass” is a tableware brand of Ishizuka Glass, which is well-known as a high-quality professional-grade glassware company in Japan.

This cool cute thin glass is actually for beer, but, you can use it for mizuwari shochu to enhance the Japanese atmosphere.

This high-quality and cool& cute design will be a great gift for yourself and your family&friends.

ADERIA Beer Glass Pair Set 10.5 oz (310ml) Premium Nippon Taste Gift Set of 2 Made in Japan (Fireworks)

A high ball glass can bring a casual and refreshing atmosphere, and a rock glass can bring a mature, calm atmosphere.

When using the rock glass, you can increase the shochu ratio in the water to also enjoy the aroma.

Another way to enjoy Japanese shochu, use a special local glass or cup from the same production area as the shochu.

“Satsuma Kiriko” produced in Kagoshima is also has a delicate design.

Satsuma kiriko cut glass is the traditional specialty cutting glass with its deep, vivid color, and delicate cutting design.

Handmade, using a clear crystal glass in Kagoshima prefecture.

The ceramic shochu cup is a staple cup to enjoy Japanese shochu in Japan.

Since it brings out the delicate shochu flavor with a chic relaxing atmosphere.

Arita ware, Kutani ware, Mino ware are popular and often selected as special gifts.

Compared to glass, it is relatively hard to break, easy to handle and it is unique and pretty for daily use.

It can be used as oyuwari shochu, shochu cocktails, besides, as a beer glass or as a cup for dessert, and the versatility that can be used for various purposes is the appealing point of the ceramic Shochu cup.

*Shochu cup is different from Yunomi teacup, which is bigger than Yunomi teacup.

Is Mae Wari Different From Mizu Wari?

Do you know the way to enjoy Shochu called “maewari”?

Maewari shochu is the blending of Otsurui shochu and water (1: 1) days to weeks before drinking.

According to a friend of mine, it’s better to wait for at least 5 days to enjoy Maewari shochu.

This process softens up the shochu and can dramatically change the flavor.

In Kagoshima Prefecture, maewari is traditionally done as Japanese “Omotenashi” spirit-showing hospitality.

So, a host gets ready for maewari shochu in advance and welcomes guests.

So, you need to plan ahead enough (days to weeks) to enjoy Maewari shochu.

By blending the shochu with water and letting it sit in advance, the shochu and water will become well-combined and help the sharp flavors rounded each other.

If you want to try a different way of enjoying Mizuwari, why don’t you enjoy Shochu in Maewari way?

Even the shochu you don’t like, Maewari can change the taste completely, so you can save the shochu possibly.

Personally, I would choose soft water to make Maewari shochu.

  • Simply add the same amount of water as shochu to a bottle and mix.
  • Shake the bottle once a day.
  • Let it sit in a refrigerator for a few days to a week.

Go “Oyuwari” Shochu After Mastering Mizuwari

When you will be complete Mizuwari Shochu, why not learn about Oyuwari shochu, which combined with boiled water.

Actually, Oyuwari Shochu is known for the best way to enjoy Shochu aroma & flavor.

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