A fresh new spirit from Japan

April 14, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

This year, the dream of sitting in an izakaya sipping on Japan’s national spirit is brought closer to home with the launch of Beam Suntory’s Koyomi Shochu. In full bottle spirit (FBS) format, Koyomi Shochu (700ml, ABV 25%) brings a taste of Japan to Australia with its crisp, refreshing and versatile taste with low alcohol, low calories and zero carbs.

After bringing the shochu craze to Australian drinkers in 2019 with Koyomi Highball RTD cans, the Koyomi Shochu is designed to be enjoyed neat (warm or cold, on ice) or in cocktails when you don’t feel like anything too heavy.

Chu-Hi is the perfect ‘better for you’ option for those looking for something light and easy-to-drink, with only 42 calories in each serve.

Single-distilled and made from barley, Koyomi Shochu is a smooth expression of the spirit, with a refreshing and fragrant fruity aroma. Low ABV (25%) has made it a favourite for session drinkers looking for long, refreshing cocktails that can be enjoyed over the course of an evening or over a long lunch.

The launch of Koyomi Shochu into the Australian market by global spirits leader, Beam Suntory, will include a refreshed website, that houses shochu education and inspiration; and national off- premise brand activations to drive visibility and trial. An on-premise engagement programme will also kick-off in contemporary Asian and fine dining restaurants and bars with the aim of educating customers on how to enjoy KOYOMI™ Shochu with food, or simply how to order at the bar.

“We are thrilled to be extending the Koyomi brand in Australia with the 700ml full bottle spirit format”, said Beam Suntory Director of Innovation, Kay Oh.

“Koyomi embodies both the sophistication and cutting edge of Japanese culture and we are confident the new format will be well-received in the Australian market. There is an ever-increasing consumer need for health and wellbeing, and lower alcohol drinks are on the rise, with the low- calorie and zero carbs factor a key selling point.

“Shochu is a versatile, easy-to-drink spirit and the fact that it is single distilled allows it to retain its pleasant flavour and aroma.”

The highest selling spirit in Japan and more popular than sake, shochu hits the sweet spot between vodka and gin and is distilled from grains or vegetables (KOYOMI is made from barley). It also boasts a heritage like no other with the first documentation of the spirit discovered through traditional ‘graffiti’ dating back to 1559. The artistic Koyomi label features a crane bird, symbolising good fortune and longevity in Japan, which is a nod to the rich history of shochu and Japan.

Koyomi Shochu (700mL) is on shelves from June at leading liquor stores, available to enjoy at venues across Australia and priced at RRP $42-$47.

As versatile as vodka and as food-friendly as wine, the most popular way of enjoying shochu is the Chu-Hi, a refreshingly simple mix of Koyomi Shochu, soda, ice and fresh fruit juice in a tall glass. Adaptable to almost any taste, Koyomi Shochu pairs seamlessly with lemon and grapefruit and even Japan’s hottest flavour, ume (plum).

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