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Old 04-23-2009, 11:26 PM   #1  
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Default Any drinkers in here? Shochu...

I'm turning 21 in a few weeks and have been looking forward to it, except for all the calories! Then I read about this stuff called shochu which has about 25 calories per shot.

Anyone ever try it?
I'm probably going to buy a bottle of Tomboshochu

What is Shochu?

Shochu is a Japanese clear distilled spirit similar to vodka. The main difference between sake and shochu is sake (or "nihon-shu" in Japanese) is brewed, whereas shochu is distilled.

In Japan shochu is often mixed with hot water with salty ume-plums, or mixed with oolong tea and fruit juices such as orange, peach and grapefruit.

Health conscious consumers prefer shochu than other types of beverage alcohol because of its low calories. (about 15 - 20 cal. per ounce) By law, the alcohol content of Shochu must be 45 percent or less. Although most comes in at 25 percent, lower than a regular bottle of distilled spirits that are sold at 40 percent.

Shochu is produced all over the country, yet the home of shochu is Kyushu island, most southern island of Japan. Kagoshima prefecture in Kyushu is the only prefecture in Japan that does not produce sake or any other types of beverage alcohol than Shochu.

Like vodka, shochu can be distilled from various types of ingredients that contain natural sugar such as potato, rice, wheat and barley. After the sugar is extracted from the source ingredient, yeast is added to the sugary water, converting the sugar into alcohol before the distillation process.

There are two main types of shochus: Otsurui and Korui. Korui shochu is distilled several times and usually consumed in cocktails. Otsurui is distilled only once, leaving a distinctive smell of the source ingredient. This type of shochu is often enjoyed on the rocks and is becoming increasingly popular in Japan.

Imo-Jochu is distilled from sweet potatoes within a few days after being harvested. Unlike other types of shochu produced from grain crops, imo jochu can only be produced during the harvest season between August and November. After the distillation, imo jochu is matured for a few months before being shipped. Shinshu (new shochu) is sold in November as a tradition to celebrate the beginning of making shochu.

The exact origin of Shochu is unknown, although the first document mentioning Shochu was found in Kyushu island in the 1500s, indicating that Shochu distillation first arrived in Kyushu island through Thailand while the other would say that it came from China through Korea. By the mid 1500s, Shochu was available to ordinary citizens according to the document found in Kyoshu island, written by a local carpenter. "I was disappointed that the manager didn't offer us a glass of shochu for all the hard work we've done for his shrine."

Today shochu cocktails or "Chu-Hai" canned cocktails are sold virtually everywhere in Japan, from a street vending machine to a 24-hour convenient store, or at a subway kiosk. Chu-Hai drinks come with the variety of flavors such as grapefruit, lemon, lime, peach, strawberry, plum and many more.
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:05 PM   #2  
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I like shochu in Bloody Marys.

Note that it is NOT 25 calories per shot, but 25 calories per ounce - a shot is 1.5 ounces. An ounce of vodka is about 50 calories, and has about twice the alcohol. So if calorie content is the only reason you're considering using shochu - you could also use just 1/2 as much vodka, for the same effect both calorie and intoxication-wise.

Last edited by Su-Bee; 04-24-2009 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:58 PM   #3  
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Well now my inner math geek is confused.

I always thought that pure alcohol had 7 calories per gram, which is 163 calories per ounce (1 fluid ounce = 29.5ml, at 0.789g/ml).

So if Shochu were 25% alcohol by volume (is that how they measure it in beverages?) it should have at least 40 calories (1/4 ounce of pure alcohol per ounce of liquor).

What am I missing?
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:15 PM   #4  
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I know this probably bad advice... buttttt it's your 21st birthday! Let loose! haha I know it's important to stay on plan, but in my opinion it's also good to indulge on occasion too. Just as long as you make up for it the next day or soon after in the gym or something. I don't know, just enjoy yourself, it's your birthday! I sure wouldn't want to be calorie counting my drinks on my 21st. I can see where you are coming from though!
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:19 PM   #5  
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I am just so scared to fall off the wagon lol or gain because of my birthday. I can see what you're saying though, I still have time to make a decision.
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:21 PM   #6  
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oh I totally know what you mean. I just turned 21 a few months ago.. and although I wasnt dieting at the time.. I was still worried about calories and gaining weight and everything. Hope you have a good birthday!
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:22 PM   #7  
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Thanks.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:52 PM   #8  
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Also I'd stick with vodka for the sake of your wallet. Vodka on the rocks with a little bit of pineapple juice is pretty good and the pineapple juice only ads about 10 calories.

Although I tend to stick to shots simply because it's always lower in calories and I don't like holding a drink, but if I'm sitting down somewhere and not out dancing or something I'll get a cranberry and vodka, not a great choice, but I like it.
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:13 AM   #9  
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There are always the stand by low calorie drinks... diet coke and rum, anything mixed with seltzer (maybe with a little lime).But yeah, if you're looking for the most bang for your buck, just go for something that has a high alcohol content but rather low sugar, like vodka. For example, after dinner liqueurs would be a bad (but delicious) choice because they are very sweet.
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