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MIZU 'LEMONGRASS' SHOCHU


SINGLE DISTILLED FROM RICE & WHITE KOJI (95%)

AND FRESH, ORGANIC LEMONGRASS (5%). HARVESTED

LOCALLY WITHIN SAGA PREFECTURE. 70 PROOF.

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MIZU 'LEMONGRASS' SHOCHU


SINGLE DISTILLED FROM RICE & WHITE KOJI (95%)

AND FRESH, ORGANIC LEMONGRASS (5%). HARVESTED

LOCALLY WITHIN SAGA PREFECTURE. 70 PROOF.

 

MIZU 'LEMONGRASS' SHOCHU
米焼酎『武雄レモングラス』

In the small onsen town of Takeo, just to the east of Arita, lies a tiny cluster of lemongrass fields that have become a source of local pride, and inspiration for this unique shochu. Handcrafted in the traditional way, it is single distilled from a mash of locally farmed rice, freshly harvested, organic lemongrass and the pure, famous waters of Black Hair Mountain (Kurokami-yama).

At 70 proof it is more concentrated like shochus of old, yet the introduction of lemongrass is a first in shochu production; an innovative twist by master distillers Shinji Wada and Hirofumi Okoba. Grown organically atop nearby mountains, the freshly cut lemongrass is added to a rice-based mash just three days before distillation. Oils from the leaves commingle with local rice and white koji to create a distinctively refreshing shochu.

原料: 米・米麹(白)・レモングラス / 度数:35度

TASTING NOTES: Bright, citrusy, delicate, delicious. A blend of sake-like aromas and lemongrass on the nose. Silky mouthfeel. Hints of meyer lemon and a light sweetness that brings to mind rice pudding.

DRINKING SUGGESTIONS: Enjoyed best on the rocks, or as a highball, topped with soda water and garnished with a slice of lemon. Also enjoy with citrusy soft drinks like lemonade, iced green tea, or a variety of tropical mixers like coconut water (with a spritz of lemon).

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SEASONALLY INSPIRED SHOCHU


WE COLLABORATE WITH LOCAL FARMERS

TO CREATE UNIQUE, SEASONAL SHOCHUS

THAT EXPRESS THE SPIRIT OF SAGA.

SEASONALLY INSPIRED SHOCHU


WE COLLABORATE WITH LOCAL FARMERS

TO CREATE UNIQUE, SEASONAL SHOCHUS

THAT EXPRESS THE SPIRIT OF SAGA.

SEASONAL SERIES, SUMMER INSPIRED

We take great pride in celebrating local, seasonal harvests and flavors. As shochu can be distilled from a wide variety of crops, we break convention in offering rare shochus distilled from uncommon ingredients. These shochus are seasonally inspired, and the first of the four-seasons series is ‘Lemongrass’. Grown throughout the hot summer months, the lemongrass offers a refreshing twist on traditional rice shochu. The harvest of both the lemongrass and the rice occur simultaneously just before the fall, and we distill only one batch while the lemongrass is still fresh.


Coming soon in early spring of 2018 will be our new addition to the series, a spring inspired Mizu Shochu.


Lemongrass grows throughout the summer on a mountaintop near the town of Takeo.

Lemongrass grows throughout the summer on a mountaintop near the town of Takeo.

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KOJI, THE MAGIC IN SHOCHU


RICE IS HARVESTED AND METICULOUSLY REFINED,

YET IT IS THE ADDITION OF THE KOJI MICROBE THAT

DISTINGUISHES SHOCHU FROM ALL OTHER SPIRITS.

KOJI, THE MAGIC IN SHOCHU


RICE IS HARVESTED AND METICULOUSLY REFINED,

YET IT IS THE ADDITION OF THE KOJI MICROBE THAT

DISTINGUISHES SHOCHU FROM ALL OTHER SPIRITS.

WHITE KOJI RICE & THE 1ST MOROMI

Production begins with the intricate preparation and then fermentation of our ‘white koji rice’. Locally grown rice farmed near the towns of Arita and Imari is meticulously polished to a fine pearl, steamed and coated with a microbe called white koji, which imparts unique flavors, distinctive aromas, and helps to break down starches into sugars. The white koji is given time to propagate over the steamed rice, and must be tended to by the koji master night and day. After 48 hours, it is ready to be mixed with soft spring water from nearby Black Hair Mountain, along with a touch of yeast, which helps to convert the sugars into alcohol. This fermenting mash of ingredients is known as the ‘first moromi’.

Koji is an essential ingredient in the production of shochu and helps to distinguish it from all other spirits. White koji is more mild than the black koji used in our 'Saga Barley' shochu. Using white koji here allows the flavors and aromatics of the lemongrass to be the feature of this spirit.


White koji adds an opaque coat to the otherwise translucent polished pearls of rice.

White koji adds an opaque coat to the otherwise translucent polished pearls of rice.

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FRESHLY CUT, ORGANIC LEMONGRASS


A FINISHED SHOCHU IS NEVER INFUSED OR FLAVORED.

FOLLOWING TRADITIONAL METHODS, OUR LEMONGRASS IS

ADDED DURING FERMENTATION FOR A SUBTLE TWIST.

FRESHLY CUT, ORGANIC LEMONGRASS


A FINISHED SHOCHU IS NEVER INFUSED OR FLAVORED.

FOLLOWING TRADITIONAL METHODS, OUR LEMONGRASS IS

ADDED DURING FERMENTATION FOR A SUBTLE TWIST.

LEMONGRASS & THE 2ND MOROMI

The lemongrass is organically farmed atop several nearby mountains just overlooking the town of Takeo in Saga Prefecture. Seedlings are planted in the late spring and flourish in the subtropical Saga summer. The lemongrass is then harvested in early fall, overlapping the harvest of locally farmed rice. Fresh lemongrass leaves are cut and added to a mash of white koji rice and polished rice, just three days before distillation. The flavor of lemongrass is achieved entirely through its introduction to the mash. There is nothing added to the finished spirit except for pure water.

Lemongrass is not commonly grown in Japan, but the farmers of Takeo have adopted this Southeast Asian staple because of the heat and heavy summer rains in the mountains of Saga.



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HIGHER PROOF, GREATER DEPTH


HIGHER ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION

THAN MOST MODERN-DAY SHOCHU IS

A TRIBUTE TO SHOCHU OF OLD.

HIGHER PROOF, GREATER DEPTH


HIGHER ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION

THAN MOST MODERN-DAY SHOCHU IS

A TRIBUTE TO SHOCHU OF OLD.

SINGLE DISTILLED, GENSHU STYLE

Upon completion of the second moromi, the mash is transferred to a stainless steel pot still for single distillation. It is here that the pure essence of rice and fresh lemongrass is captured in an unusually smooth and naturally tasty distillate that is 88 proof (44% alc/vol). This undiluted heart of the spirit is called the ‘genshu’, which is then left to rest and mature.

The shochu is bottled in the boutique genshu style and is a tribute to the more concentrated shochus of old. Once our genshu has been fully mellowed it is slightly cut with soft mountain water to 70 proof (35% alc/vol) where the spirit finds true balance (contemporary shochus are typically diluted down to 50 proof). Produced only in small batches, the more concentrated genshu style delivers a spirit of greater depth and body.


Toji Wada glances into the still as he oversees distillation.

Toji Wada glances into the still as he oversees distillation.