While we all love a good margarita or glass of rosé, we may have found your new favorite drink. We’re talking about shochu, Japan’s national spirit.

Never heard of the tasty liquor? Check out everything you need to know below.

What is it?
Shochu is a traditional Japanese hard liquor that’s made from grains and vegetables – barley, sweet potato, buckwheat, rice, and sugar cane are among the most common ingredients. It’s often served in cocktails, but the subtle, unique flavor is also perfect for drinking on the rocks or neat. We recommend drinking Kase Shochu, which uses trustworthy and delicious ingredients from the brand’s distillery in Saga, Japan.

How is it made?
Unlike sake, which is fermented, shochu is distilled. Kase Shochu, for instance, sources barley from nearby farmers in Saga and water from the Kase River. Then, koji, a special microbe the brand cultivates, is added to the barley to turn the starches into fermentable sugars. By distilling these ingredients and aging them in charred oak barrels, Kase Shochu is able to preserve the natural flavors, making for a totally satisfying beverage (plus, it’s only 90 calories per serving).

What’s the alcohol content?
As a distilled spirit (similar to vodka), shochu’s alcohol content is higher than that of sake or wine. Typically, shochu ranges from 25% to 37% alcohol, so it can be enjoyed a variety of ways.

xx, The FabFitFun Team