Shochu Sour Cocktail Recipe

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Shochu Sour Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Shochu Sour is a refreshing Japanese cocktail that combines the smoothness of shochu with the zesty tang of citrus. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a slightly sour, yet well-balanced drink. Shochu is a popular Japanese spirit that has been enjoyed for centuries, and this cocktail is a modern twist on a classic.

  • Origin: Japan
  • Popular among: Fans of Japanese spirits and those who enjoy sour cocktails
  • Best enjoyed: During warm summer evenings or as an aperitif

How Shochu Sour Tastes?

Slightly sour, citrusy, smooth, refreshing, well-balanced

Interesting facts about Shochu Sour

  • Shochu is a Japanese distilled spirit made from various ingredients, such as rice, barley, or sweet potatoes
  • The Shochu Sour is a popular cocktail in Japan, often enjoyed during warm summer months
  • The addition of citrus juice helps to balance the flavors and adds a refreshing zesty kick



Shochu adds a distinctive Japanese flavor that's more subtle than sake. Using 2 oz sets a balanced foundation for the cocktail. Less would be too weak; more might overpower the other flavors.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice gives that vital sour kick. That tangy zip is what we're after in a 'Sour'! 1 oz ensures that the lemon doesn't play second fiddle to the Shochu. Less juice would make it dull, more could make it pucker-worthy.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

The 0.5 oz of simple syrup keeps it sweet but not syrupy. It's the peacemaker between the sour lemon and the smooth Shochu. No syrup means a potential face-scrunch; too much, and you're sipping sugar water.

Emma Rose

Club Soda

Club soda adds a bit of fizz, making the drink more exciting. 1 oz provides a subtle effervescence. Without it, the cocktail might feel flat. More soda could dilute the flavors and weaken the show.

Mary Mitkina

Angostura Bitters

A couple of dashes of Angostura bitters bring complexity and depth. They're the 'old wise sage' of ingredients - a little goes a long way. Without them, the drink lacks character; too much, and it could become overwhelmingly bitter.

Alex Green

Lemon Wheel

The lemon wheel is a visual delight and adds to the aroma, inviting you to take a sip. It's also an edible teaser of the zesty journey ahead.

Emma Rose


One cherry for a garnish adds a touch of class and a hint of sweetness that echoes through the sour symphony.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Shochu Sour Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice
  2. Add shochu, lemon juice, and simple syrup
  3. Shake well until chilled
  4. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass
  5. Top with club soda
  6. Add two dashes of Angostura bitters
  7. Garnish with a lemon wheel and cherry

Pro Tips

  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor
  • Adjust the simple syrup amount to your preferred level of sweetness
  • Gently stir the cocktail after adding club soda to mix the flavors without losing the fizz

Perfect Pairings


  • Fresh seafood: Oysters or sashimi will complement the clean taste of the Shochu.
  • Japanese Izakaya snacks: Think edamame, grilled yakitori, or tempura.

Main Courses

  • Grilled meats: The acidity in the cocktail cuts through the fat of dishes like pork belly or grilled steak.
  • Spicy dishes: Any spicy Asian cuisine would be balanced out by the sourness and the sweetness of the cocktail.


  • Fruit-based desserts: Lemon tarts or sorbets can echo the citrus notes in the drink.
  • Cheesecake: The creaminess would be a nice contrast to the acidity of the lemon.

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What you could change in Shochu Sour

  • Shochu: You can replace shochu with vodka or gin for a different twist
  • Lemon juice: Lime juice can be used for a slightly different citrus flavor

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Yuzu Shochu Sour

  • Swap lemon juice for yuzu juice
  • Recipe: Same as above but with yuzu juice. The yuzu will provide a more complex, fragrant citrus kick.
  • Flavor: Exotically tangy, yuzu brings an East Asian flavor profile into the mix.

Green Tea Shochu Sour

  • Add a dash of cold green tea
  • Recipe: Introduce 0.5 oz of chilled green tea after shaking. It'll create a refreshing and wholesome twist.
  • Flavor: Earthy green tea tones grace your sour sip, adding a rejuvenating quality.

Spiced Shochu Sour

  • Include a cinnamon stick
  • Recipe: Add cinnamon stick inside the shaker, giving it a good shake. It'll infuse the cocktail with a warm, spicy note.
  • Flavor: The familiar warmth of cinnamon will cozy up to the bright sour flavors, ideal for a chilly evening.

In case you forgot basics how to make Shochu Sour

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Shochu Sour

What is the alcohol content of shochu?

The alcohol content of shochu ranges from 25% to 35%, but it can be as high as 45% for traditional versions.

Are there different types of shochu?

Yes, there are mainly two types of shochu: Otsushu and Korui. Otsushu is more traditional and aromatic, while Korui is more suitable for cocktails as it has a lighter flavor.

What is the difference between a Shochu Sour and a Whiskey Sour?

The primary difference between a Shochu Sour and a Whiskey Sour is the base spirit. A Shochu Sour uses shochu, a Japanese distilled beverage, while a Whiskey Sour uses whiskey.

What can I pair with a Shochu Sour?

Shochu Sours pair well with a variety of dishes, particularly Japanese cuisine such as sushi, tempura, and yakitori.

Can I use a different type of bitters in a Shochu Sour?

Yes, you can experiment with different types of bitters. However, the Angostura bitters contribute a specific depth and complexity to the Shochu Sour, so substitutions could change the overall flavor.

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