“Spirits don’t pair well with food.” Although such drinking culture is standard in the West, Japan has a spirit to turn it upside-down.
Honkaku shochu accentuates and is accentuated by food, and it has long been a familiar spirit enjoyed together with meals on Japanese dining tables.
It has the perfect alcohol percentage for a drink which has long accompanied food—neither too high nor too low. It can be drunk in a variety of ways: in addition to neat or on the rocks, it can be mixed with hot or cold water, or soda. One of the reasons it is a favored mealtime drink is that it can be enjoyed in so many ways, depending on the brand or the food it is being paired with.
Honkaku shochu’s culture is joined to food culture. It offers a new possibility: a moment of harmony between food and spirit.