A distilled spirit made from potatoes, rice, wheat, or barley, shochu originated in Kyushu (in southwestern Japan), but is now produced all over the country. The Sho-Chu Authority carries over 3000 varieties of the liquor, which differs from sake in that sake is fermented rather than distilled. At this Shodome location, staff experts offer shochu tastings and can guide the uninitiated in understanding the different varieties available. The store also stocks other Japanese spirits such as awamori (from Okinawa) and sake.
Ask about the sweet potato variety of shochu, once maligned and now considered a top-shelf selection.