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Japanese Shochu 101: You Can Be Kagoshiman (Locals) When You Become A Oyuwari Master

Food & Recipes

According to local Shochu enthusiasts in Kagoshima,

the most famous for Imo Jochu made of sweet potato shochu,

Oyuwari is the best way to enjoy Imo jochu (shochu).

Believe it or not, most Kagoshiman, local drinkers have Oyuwari Shochu every day.

When you call Shochu, it refers to “Oyuwari” shochu in Kagoshima.

Oyuwari is not only for the wintertime, it is a great way to enjoy Japanese shochu throughout seasons.

Just mixing shochu with boiled water brings a delicate shochu aroma.

Today, let’s dive into the deep Oyuwari shochu how to make the best Oyuwari shochu without missing the essential tips from the Shochu enthusiasms.

The Right pouring Order To Make Oyuwari Shochu

Boiled Water First, The Shochu Next

Oyuwari is one of the most popular ways to drink in Kyushu, the home of shochu, and it is the way that you can enjoy the authentic rich aroma and sweet flavor of shochu.

Oyuwari literally means the shochu mixed with boiled water.

As a basic rule for making the perfect Oyuwari shochu, there is a difference in the order of pouring the shochu from making Mizuwari shochu.

  • Pour water after shochu for making Mizuwari Shochu
  • Pure shochu after boiled water for making Oyuwari Shochu

By pouring boiled water first, the water temperature will be moderate and also can warm a mug up.

Once add the shochu into the boiled water, they naturally combine and make a mellow-rounded flavor without stirring.

Also, you can enjoy the authentic Shochu aroma from the steam.

Click here for how to make mizuwari shochu!

The Best Temperature Of Boiled Water To Make Oyuwari

The best temperature to pour in a mug is 70-80 C (158 – 176F), and make Oyuwari Shochu at 42-50C (108 – 122F) to finish.

To avoid alcohol volatilize, don’t use hot water just boiled. Let it cools down to 70-80C.

If you like to be meticulous, a cooking thermometer will be handy to make the perfect Oyuwari Shochu.

Also, easy to get cold due to the friction of water molecules when using a microwave to warm the water.

Use a kettle or pot on the stove if you want to make the best.

The most recommended shochu for Oyuwari is the authentic shochu called “Honkaku Shochu / Otsuru Shochu” and especially made of sweet potatoes, barley, and rice.

Since they are made of the traditional single distillation, you can enjoy fully the flavor of the raw materials, and the mysterious aroma.

What’s Honkaku Shochu?

The finest Otsurui shochu is called “honkau shochu” and is a genuine shochu that uses only carefully selected ingredients.

I believe you who are reading this post knew “what’s Otsurui Shochu?”, “What’s Honkaku Shochu?”, besides, “what’s Japanese Shochu?”

In this post, I can tell you what you should know about Japanese Shochu.

The Golden Ratio For The Best Oyuwari Shochu

Rokuyon/ Gogo

There are two major standard ratios to make Oyuwari shochu.

As well as Mizuwari Sohchu, the shochu ratio of the water is 6:4, which is called “Rokuyon” in Japanese among Shochu enthusiasms.

Also, “Gogo” is a popular ratio of you want to enjoy the shochu more.

Simply, it’s half & half, mix the shochu with the same amount of boiled water.

The best ratio of Oyuwari shochu differs your taste preference, mode of the day, and nibbles.

Find your favorite ratio.

By the way, in the case of shochu with 25% alcohol content, it will be about 15% alcohol content in the Rokuyon ratio, and 12.5% alcohol content in the Gogo ratio.

The Best Mug For Oyuwari Shochu

To enjoy the Oyuwari Shochu that you made it bringing your all effort, choose a cup which is not big, but not small. As a guide, a 5 oz cup (150ml) is the best.

The reason you should avoid a big cup (you call it a mug?), is the Oyuwari shochu will be cold before finish drinking all in it.

Also, if you want to try a unique ut popular topping in Oyuwari shochu, which is a dried plum called umeboshi, a transparent heat-resistant glass cup can bring you atmosphere visually.

Serve Hot Nibbles For Oyuwari Shochu

If you want to enjoy Oyuwari Shochu with nibbles, hot (not spicy hot) nibbles go well since the shochu is warm.

If you want western nibbles, the onion ring is great to nibble for Oyuwari shochu. Surprisingly, pizza is also a great snack for Oyuwari shochu.

In Japan, Japanese hot pot dishes called Nabe, oden, or yudofu are popular.

Nibbles For Oyuwari Imo Shochu

Imo-jochu (shochu) is generally rich in aroma and flavor, so the rich dishes go well with it.

Japaense-Style Rich Nibble Rercipes

Greasy Rich dishes go well with Imo-jochu, as I said.

How about popular Izakaya food such as Japanese-style beef cheeks or Japanese-style pork neck bones?

Nibbles For Oyuwari Mugi Shochu

The barley shochu has an attractive refreshing taste, so it is versatile enough to go with any food.

Yet, you can enjoy its flavor and aroma when choosing light taste nibbles such as seafood, chicken breasts, even stir-fried vegetables.

Japaense-Style Seafood Nibble Rercipe

My husband’s favorite recipe “Sesame Crusted Seared Ahi Tuna With Authentic Teriyaki Sauce” is one of the healthy snacks for Mugi Shochu.

You can use a commercial teriyaki sauce, but, why not try to make the authentic Japanese teriyaki sauce?

Nibbles For Oyuwari Kome Shochu

Kome shochu is rich in mellow-rounded flavor and since it is made of rice, it goes well with Japanese food.

  • Tofu dishes
  • Beans/ Edamame
  • Seafood


Surprisingly, Natto goes well with kome shochu.

My homemade natto recipe is super-easy in an instant pot, and my Natto sauce is also highly recommended.

The savory-sweet rich dashi taste of the sauce enhances Kome shochu flavor.

You can put the homemade natto on my husband’s recipe, “Sesame Crusted Seared Ahi Tuna With Authentic Teriyaki Sauce”.

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