What is

There are many reasons why Nankai Shochu is what you should be drinking. But first, what is shochu?

Perfected by artisans over 500 years, shochu is a traditional Japanese distilled spirit made typically from barley, sweet potato, or as in our case, sugarcane and rice.

Shochu uses koji, the same fermentation starter as miso or soy sauce, making it unique from other spirits like whisky or vodka. Learn more about koji here.

Photo by Jenni Hwang

Nankai Shochu Bottles


Incredibly easy to drink and highly enjoyable with food, this clean, smooth craft spirit is a perfect introduction to the shochu category.

Enjoy this Japanese spirit on the rocks, or discover its amazing versatility in cocktails.

Shochu Versus Sake & Soju

Shochu is often mistaken for sake or soju but is quite different from both.

Shochu and Sake share similar ingredients, but sake is brewed and shochu is distilled. Shochu as a category has outsold sake in Japan for the last decade because of its versatility and its health benefits.

Genuine craft shochus like Nankai are single-distilled from all-natural, high-quality ingredients with absolutely no flavor additives. Korean soju, like the affordable ones commonly enjoyed at Korean restaurants, are multi-distilled and are often made with sweeteners or other additives. However, there are legal reasons why our bottle says “soju.” Check out our blog to learn more.

Why Nankai Shochu?



Nankai Shochu is vacuum-distilled and carefully aged. The result makes Nankai crisp, fragrant, and easier to drink than traditional shochus made from sweet potato or barley.


Zero Sugar & Carbs

Through the magic of distillation, there is NO SUGAR and NO CARBS in shochu, even if it is made from sugarcane. And we absolutely do not add any additional sugars.



Nankai Shochu is distilled from 80% sugarcane and 20% rice, both of which are naturally gluten-free. And, Nankai Shochu is all-natural without additives or flavorings.


Ultra Low Calories

Shochu has lower calories per serving size than vodka. A 1.5 ounce shot of shochu has about 59 calories versus 90 calories for vodka.



Drinking shochu stimulates urokinase enzymes (1.5x more than red wine) in the body that break up blood clots, reducing the risk of heart disease and strokes.


Tastes Great

Yes, this icon doesn't match the set, but we're pretty proud of our awards: Gold Medal 2018 LA Spirits Competition and Double Gold Medal SIP Awards. We think you'll agree with the judges.

The Healthy Choice

• Shochu at 24% ABV has lower calories per serving size than vodka or sake. About 59 calories per 1.5 oz shot of shochu compared to 90 calories for vodka. A typical serving size of sake is about 150 calories.

• Shochu has NO sugar, even if it’s made from sugar cane. All of the sugar is converted into alcohol during distillation.

• Shochu reduces the risk of strokes and blood clots because it naturally promotes an increase in an enzyme known as “urokinase.” Shochu produces more urokinase than red wine.

• Shochu is often said to cause less hangovers. While there is no scientific evidence backing this up, the hypothesis, such as that presented by Professor Hiroyuki Sumi of Kurashiki University in the Japan Times, is that “good shochu is very pure and has few adulterants.”

Shochu Resources

Don’t believe us? Check out all these great articles that talk about why Nankai Shochu and other shochus are worth trying out.

Napa Valley Register

Washington Post