What is CHU-HI?

by takarasake November 22, 2022

“CHU-HI” has become a major cocktail in Japan. We can see a wide variety of CHU-HI being served at Japanese Restaurants (Izakaya) daily. What does “CHU-HI” stand for? It is shortened for “Shochu Highball.”

Highball is a cocktail term referring to “a beverage made by distilled alcohol such as whiskey and gin mixed with soda.” Just as with whiskey it is called Whiskey Highball, the shochu mixed with soda is called the “Shochu Highball,” and its abbreviation is “CHU-HI.”

This simple, yet refreshing mixed drink became an essential menu for Japanese Izakayas, and it turned into the most beloved cocktail for Japanese people, increasing in popularity by traveling around the world from Japan. So what is CHU-HI all about? Let’s explore it together!

Is CHU-HI a low alcohol Cocktail?

CHU-HI is a low-alcohol cocktail and is generally drunk at 3-7% ABV (alcohol by volume). It is super easy to make. Just mix Shochu (ABV) 24% to 25%, and soda and garnish with the fruit of your choice. You can adjust the alcohol level by simply reducing the amount of shochu, and you can enjoy it at your favorite frequency. The recommended mix ratio ranges from 1:3 to 1:5, which is perfect for enjoying the subtle taste of shochu and the flavor of the fruit. Adding a shot of freshly squeezed fruit juice can add new sparks to the mix. Increase your soda ratio to enjoy exhilaration, or by adding plenty of fruit or fruit juice to enjoy the flavors of natural produce.

The ABV of distilled spirits such as Whiskey is around 40%, while Shochu is around 25%, a relatively low degree, making Shochu a very versatile base spirit to make into a cocktail. Lighter alcohol-level cocktails such as CHU-HI can be enjoyed even by people who usually don’t enjoy traditional cocktails. In addition, low-ABV drinks are more compatible with a wide variety of dishes. Therefore, CHU-HI is ideal for mid-meal drinks.

This is why CHU-HI is widely popular in Japan and has become known in the USA today as a light, refreshing, fruity, and healthier choice to traditional cocktails. Try CHU-HI today!

Is CHU-HI a Healthier cocktail?

The types of alcoholic beverages can be divided into two categories: fermented alcohol and distilled alcohol. Sake, beer, and wine are brewed by fermenting raw materials to produce alcohol.

The main raw materials are rice for sake, grains for beer, and grapes for wine. These raw materials naturally contain carbohydrates and purines, so the finished product also contains carbohydrates and purines. Therefore, people watching out for a special diet to lower sugar or purines intake need to be aware of the serving portions. Distilled alcohol such as Whiskey or Vodka is famous for its much lower carbohydrates and purines levels. In the case of Shochu, both carbohydrates and purines are zero!

During the first stage of making distilled alcohol, starch or sugar base, raw materials are fermented. Then, the fermented liquid is heated till it evaporates in a specific distiller pot or machine, depending on the characteristics of the final spirits. Once cooled, evaporated gas will condense at different temperatures to extract alcohol and flavor. Our Takara Shochu goes through multiple distillation processes to reach purity and becomes free from traceable carbohydrates and purines. Therefore, CHU-HI made with such shochu, soda, and fruits could be a much healthier alcohol choice than some fermented counterparts. However, it does not mean it is calorie-free; please always enjoy it responsibly.

CHU-HI Recipes

Lemon CHU-HI

Most famous CHU-HI in Japan

With the acidity of a fresh lemon slice and the impact of strong carbonation, this Lemon CHU-HI will make you wake up.

Takara Shochu JUN, Soda, Lemon

Yuzu CHU-HI

Yuzu is an original fruit unique to Japan.

When mixed with Shochu, you can taste a refreshing acidity and a bittersweet flavor.

Takara Shochu, Soda, Yuzu

Impact of refreshing acidity and a bittersweet flavor.

Takara Shochu, Soda, Lime

Strawberry CHU-HI

When the strong carbonated bubbles burst, a sweet and sour aroma spreads.

The acidity of strawberries goes well with greasy beef.

Takara Shochu JUN, Soda, Strawberry

Gari CHU-HI

From the sweet and sour taste, the pungent taste of ginger gradually comes out, and it is a masterpiece that should be called Japanese Moscow Mule.

Takara Shochu, Soda, Gari

Plum CHU-HI

If you like a dry taste, try umeboshi, (plum) pickled only with salt.

If you use plums pickled in honey, you can enjoy a fruity taste.

Takara Shochu Jun, Soda, Plum (salted or honeyed)

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