Clear and Present – Out magazine

Shochu (image by EricGJerde)

Your days of getting bombed off sake are over. Be a gentleman and have some shochu.

Shochu does not have a backstory that excites the palate. It was reportedly used to sterilize wounds of Japanese soldiers during WWII. In post-war Japan, shochu’s reputation improved a bit, but it was still known as a cheap high. You could (and still can) buy a canned version called chu-hai (which is mixed with fruity sodas) at vending machines.

But mirroring the tequila boom of a decade ago, high-end shochu is having a moment on both sides of the Pacific. Read more about it here.