Chuhai Recipe – Japanese Cooking 101

Chuhai is a Japanese cocktail which incorporates Shouchu liquor and carbonated water flavored with fruit syrup, juice or other sweeteners.  Chuhai has been a preferred drink in Japan at bars and restaurants, in addition to canned versions you’ll be able to easily find at stores there.

Shouchu is a transparent distilled liquor favored by many alcohol lovers in Japan. Shouchu could be produced from various things, reminiscent of by distilling rice, potato, wheat, etc. There are generally two sorts of Shouchu; one has a stronger flavor from such ingredients (Otsu kind) and the opposite with much less flavor (Kou kind), much like vodka.  For making Chuhai, for the reason that drink is mixed with something else for flavor, the latter more mild Kou Shouchu is usually preferred.

Chuhai became popular within the Nineteen Eighties as Izakaya food bars boomed.  Since Shouchu is mixed with soda and sweet artificial flavorings, it appealed to a whole lot of young people identical to wine coolers within the US (Zima anyone?).  The flavorings have varied widely, like fruit syrup, Calpico yogurt drink concentrate, as we used here, and even soft drinks like ginger ale or cola.  Chuhai continues to evolve, and mixing with unsweetened green and black tea (no soda) or fresh fruit juice reminiscent of lemon and grapefruit have gotten staple items.

Making Chuhai drinks at home could be very easy, and adjusting the quantity of flavoring and alchohol is sweet, but finding the proper Shouchu liquor could be a little bit tricky.  Quite a lot of Shouchu bottles you see at Japanese grocery stores should not suitable for mixed drinks because it has the more distinctive Shouchu flavor.  So try to seek out the flavorless Kou type of Shouchu, heavily distilled pure alcohol.

Chuhai is a terrific drink in the summertime time.  It’s cold and refreshing, and goes well with Japanese or any type of dishes.  Enjoy adjusting flavors and sweetness and take a look at it tonight!


    Grapefruit Chuhai

  • 3 Tbsp fresh grapefruit juice
  • 3 Tbsp Shouchu
  • about 1/2 cup (120 ml) club soda
  • Calpico Chuhai

  • 3 Tbsp Calpico syrup (concentrated)
  • 3 Tbsp Shouchu
  • about 1/2 cup (120 ml) club soda


  1. Fill ice half-way in a 12 oz glass. Add grapefruit juice and Shouchu. Then fill with club soda to the highest.
  2. Do the identical for Calpico Chuhai.


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About JapaneseCooking101

Noriko and Yuko, the authors of this site, are each from Japan but now live in California. They love cooking and eating great food, and share an identical passion for home cooking using fresh ingredients.
Noriko and Yuko plan and develop recipes together for Japanese Cooking 101. They cook and shoot photos/videos at their home kitchen(s.)

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