Introducing Rihei Ginger Shochu

  • BY Vine Connections

Introducing Rihei Ginger, a meticulously handcrafted, single-distilled Honkaku Shochu from Japan. This one-of-a-kind shochu is made from local ginger from Miyazaki Prefecture. With 38% alcohol genshu, this Japanese craft spirit contains 20% ginger, 30% rice, and 50% barley. Named after the distillery’s founder, Rihei Ochiai, this 4th generation, family run distillery honors the traditions of their 100-year-old past while taking on a modern twist for the 21st century.

While this spirit is new to the US, it has already received noteworthy attention by the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition by winning bronze medals in the shochu category and for overall packaging design aesthetics.

Ochiai started producing this ginger shochu after local farmers heard a buzz of Ochiai’s success with other unique local ingredients and came to the distillery requesting he craft a new shochu made from their amazing quality ginger.

Tasting Notes & Cocktail Suggestions

Refreshing ginger notes on the palate with a tinge of spice and citrus that comes from the koji rice and barley. Any craft spirit enthusiast will enjoy sipping on Rihei Ginger, and it is also excellent in a wide range of classic and modern cocktails.

Download a few of our latest artisan cocktail recipes featuring Rihei Ginger Shochu here.

About Ochiai Distillery

Established in 1909, Ochiai Distillery is located in the Miyazaki prefecture, which is also known as the heart of shochu country. Ochiai is a 4th generation, family run distillery that honors the traditions of their 100 year old past while continuing to evolve as an award-winning shochu producer in the 21st century.

  • Ochiai specializes in distilling high quality shochu, made by hand through meticulous craftmanship.
  • While most shochu is made from sweet potatoes, barley or rice, they focus on crafting high quality, small production shochu made from locally grown produce like ginger, pumpkin, bell pepper, and yomogi leaves

Click to download the full Rihei Ginger product sheet here.

What is SHOCHU?

Honkaku Shochu or single distillation shochu is Japan's traditional distilled alcoholic beverage. Shochu is a distilled liquor in which the mash quality as well as the characteristics of the base ingredient are directly reflected to the quality of the spirit. Usually, shochu does not undergo cask maturation, therefor, undesirable flavors do not get mixed in and the authentic flavor of the base ingredient is retained in the finished product. Japan's shochu is different than South Korea's "soju". Both are very different in terms of production process as well as the drinking culture and customs surrounding the spirits.

Typically, production of Honkaku Shochu involves:

  • The use of koji mold, which is important for saccharification that converts the base ingredient's starches into sugars.
  • The use of citric acid generated from the koji mold, which protects the mash from unwanted contamination.
  • The one-time-only use of the distillation pot. After distillation, nothing is added except for water. 


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