Shochu now sold under beer and wine license in New York

Shochu can now be sold under its own category name in the state of New York, US, after amendments to the Beverage Control Act allowing Japanese Shochu (24% ABV or under) to be sold under a beer and wine license.

The Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association (JSS) and New York Japanese Restaurant Association (NYJRA) have announced that Governor Hochul has signed the New York Assembly bill A.8620/7913 into law on 1 July.

JSS said: “We are very excited as we have wanted this for many years. We thank the NYJRA, importers, distributors, the Japanese community, and government agencies for their support.”

Under the previous law, Japanese distillers could only sell Shochu under the misleading label of 'Soju,' a Korean spirit.

NYJRA board member treasurer, Chikako Ichihara said: "This important moment has been years in the making and we'd especially like to thank the support of the local government.”

Shochu pouring styles range from being served straight, on the rocks, or long with tonic or soda, with bartenders using shochu more often in classic cocktails, particularly the Martini and Negroni.