Shochu campaign underway in N.Y., L.A.

Jiji Press
A shochu cocktail is seen in New York on Friday.

NEW YORK (Jiji Press) — A campaign has been underway to promote Japanese shochu and awamori distilled spirits in the United States, offering cocktails using them at some bars in New York and Los Angeles.

Shochu and awamori have distinctive features such as a wide variety of types and rich flavors, but they are not widely known outside of Japan. Promoters are trying to make such features more known to U.S. consumers by offering cocktails using shochu made from sweet potato, barley, rice and kokuto brown sugar, as well as awamori.

Eight bartenders in the two U.S. cities are offering such cocktails. Two to three cocktails are offered to customers until early March at each of their bars.

At a pop-up bar in New York, a local shochu fan ordered a cocktail named shirokiri pudding, which uses the Shirokirishima sweet potato shochu brand made by Kirishima Shuzo Co., based in Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture, as well as mango flesh and lemon juice.

The campaign is organized by the Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center of the Japan External Trade Organization, or JETRO. Information about the campaign is available in English on the center’s website.