Common and different features between Shochu and Sake.Features in common: Same material; Rice and water.
Different features: Manufacturing process.
Rice Shochu is distilled after fermentation, same with Whiskey, Vodka and Gin.
Alcohol content in Shochu is higher than Sake. Normally, we use to drink Sake straight,
and to drink Shochu with ice and water.
Sake brewed without distillation. It brewed only by removing solid after fermentation.
Spirituous liquor is harmonized well with Japanese foods.Since the rice is staple food in Japan, Shochu, made of rice, matches well with Japanese dishes.
The feature of traditional Japanese food is to make use the taste of material. Shochu is harmonized well with its delicate and subtle taste. Shochu is clear and bracing liquor,
therefore it matches well not only Japanese food but also Western dish with rich sauce and also oily Chinese dish. Recently, sales share in Japan market of Shochu is larger than that of Sake, because Western and Chinese food have become more familiar in life-style of Japan.
Recommendation of how to enjoy rice Shochu.
Generally, Whisky and Brandy are after meal liquor, Shochu is the liquor during meal like Sake and Wine as well.
Basically, drink with ice, and/or dilute with cold water or hot water. Furchermore, you also can enjoy it as cocktail-base. Shochu is very familiar in Japan, because of its matching to every kind of dishes, and of its non-sugar content with the low-calorie.