Shochu -- what's a good brand?

Sorry if this is getting a bit long -- I'm pretty ignorant of which details matter, so I'm including as many as I can in case some are relevant, haha.

tl;dr, what's a decent but not-too-expensive brand of shochu I can ask a local liquor store to order for me?

I've looked around, and as far as I can tell there's one liquor store in my area (Upstate NY near Albany) that carries shochu, and it's a product of Vietnam labeled "shochu/soju".

I liked it quite a bit, but the store is pretty far out of my way, so I was hoping a more conveniently located store could order some for me. But the two I've been to have never heard of shochu, and they say they need a brand/company name to order from.

Since I have no knowledge on the subject, I was hoping someone here might be able to help. I don't want to waste the store's time or my money on something I'm going to hate.

I'm not looking for super top-shelf stuff -- something that's maybe $20 for 750ml would be fine and dandy. I can go over if need be.

I'd prefer a Japanese brand (they should be the masters of it, right?), but that's not a dealbreaker. If all else, fails, I can just go back to the out-of-the-way store and find out the name of the brand they carry.

If it matters, one thing I enjoyed was how smooth it was -- no "burn" typical of spirits stronger than wine, no pronounced bitterness. It was barely-based (unmalted), if that matters.

I appreciate any help you fine folks can give me! Thanks for reading.

Serious Eats Newsletters

Keep up with our latest recipes, tips, techniques and where to eat!


Comments are closed

Talk is closed - check out our Facebook and Twitter accounts instead.