Japan’s Original Craft Spirit

iichiko Shochu is the native spirit of Japan – a white spirit that’s incredibly rich in flavor, yet smooth and easy to drink with food.





iichiko is made from 100% two-row barley, fermented with koji. Koji is the traditional secret behind Japanese foods famous for umami, like miso and soy sauce.


Environment

iichiko is a true expression of a pristine natural environment. iichiko is crafted in Oita Prefecture on Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost island – a region famous for its clean air, lush greenery, dense cedar forests, mountainous terrain, and geothermal springs.





iichiko uses water sources that are naturally filtered through 1000 feet of volcanic rock. This exceptionally soft, iron-free water is vital to making award-winning shochu.

iichiko is the result of a true harmony between nature and science. These natural elements are paired with cutting-edge technology and clean production techniques that ensure quality and consistency. This allows iichiko to be distilled only once, to preserve maximum flavor and character, but with an elegant, aromatic nose and a very smooth finish.


Process

iichiko, pronounced EACH-ko, derives from a dialect spoken in the Oita Prefecture of Japan and translates to "it’s great."


  • BARLEY

    iichiko is a Honkaku Shochu, the highest grade of shochu. This grade can only use one type of ingredient, can only be distilled once to preserve rich flavor and character, and no sweeteners or additives can be used. iichiko uses 100% two-row barley in its shochu, known as mugi (barley) shochu. This barley is polished to remove impurities and unlock the characteristic flavor and character of barley.

  • WATER

    iichiko is distilled in Oita Prefecture on Kyushu Island, Japan's southernmost region. Oita is famous for its pristine environment and geothermal springs, and iichiko uses water naturally filtered through over 1,000 feet of volcanic rock. This soft, iron-free water is used to steep the barley. The barley is then steamed to prepare it for the conversion process from starch to sugar.

  • KOJI

    Koji is the secret behind shochu - it's how iichiko can be so rich in flavor, character, and aroma but still so smooth and easy to drink. Koji kickstarts the conversion process from starch to sugar, and also releases citric acid that serves to preserve the barley's flavor during the process. Koji is also the secret to unlocking umami - different strains of Koji are central to crafting soy sauce to miso and throughout Japanese cuisine. Shochu yeast is then added to the converted sugar, converting it into alcohol.

  • DISTILLATION

    For Honkaku Shochu like iichiko, the moromi (mash) is distilled only once. iichiko employs two distinct distillation methods to create a special, balanced shochu. Gen-atsu (low pressure) distillation creates elegant, delicate, smoother flavors and an aromatic nose. Jo-atsu (atmospheric) distillation creates more robust, richer flavors. These raw shochus are then blended to create the unique expressions of iichiko shochu.


History

In 1958, three family companies merged to form Sanwa (san for ‘three’, wa for ‘harmony’). A fourth family joined the following year, and the newly formed company produced a diverse range of sake, wine, and shochu. In 1979, iichiko debuted as a shochu made from 100% barley and distilled only once – a premium class of shochu known as honkaku shochu. Today, iichiko is the leading brand of barley shochu in Japan.


Sanwa Family Photo
Sanwa Brewery Photo
Sanwa Shurui Truck Photo
20th Anniversary Photo

The Japanese concept of wa, or harmony, continues to be a guiding principle for iichiko today. A spirit of open, honest communication has allowed iichiko to continue to innovate and create award-winning products. And while iichiko’s distillation and bottling facilities are some of the most advanced in the world, the company continues to enjoy a family environment where everyone from the executives to new hires feel a deep sense of responsibility and commitment to excellence.


iichiko Saiten

Crafted specifically for the modern bartender, iichiko Saiten is a full-flavored expression of shochu that is perfect for cocktails at 43% ABV (alcohol by volume).

On the nose, iichiko Saiten is redolent with aromas of honeydew melon, white grape, pickled watermelon rind and kabosu citrus. There are also hints of soy, white pepper and rich barley notes.

On the palate, iichiko Saiten has a strong start and a long finish. It exudes rich umami notes of jasmine tea, white peach, minerals and earth with some citrus and a saline finish that beckons another sip. Its complex flavors offer exciting options for mixing in cocktails.


HOW TO DRINK

Supremely mixable, iichiko Saiten unlocks an entire new universe of savory flavors and umami-like character for mixology. Try Saiten with these unique takes on classic cocktails.


  • SHOCHUTINI

    2 oz iichiko Saiten
    1 oz Lemon Juice
    ½ oz St. Germaine
    ¼ oz Simple Syrup

    Mix all ingredients together in shaker. Strain in glass and garnish with Lemon Peel.

  • SAITEN MOJITO

    2 oz iichiko Saiten
    1 oz Lime Juice
    1 oz Simple Syrup
    Top with Soda

    Mix all ingredients, except Soda, in shaker with ice. Shake and strain into glass with Ice, top with Soda and garnish with Mint.

  • UMAMI MARTINI

    2 oz iichiko Saiten
    ½ oz Bianco Vermouth
    2 Dashes Orange Bitters

    Mix all ingredients together and stir. Express and garnish with Lemon Peel.

  • UMAMI GIMLET

    2 oz iichiko Saiten
    1 oz Lime Juice
    ¾ oz Simple Syrup

    Mix all ingredients together in shaker. Strain in glass and garnish with Lime Wheel.

  • TOKYO MULE

    2 oz iichiko Saiten
    1 oz Lime Juice
    1 oz Ginger Syrup or Simple Syrup
    Top with Ginger Beer/Soda

    Mix all ingredients together in Mule cup. Top with Ginger Beer and garnish with Lime.

  • KOJI OLD FASHIONED

    2 oz iichiko Saiten
    ¼ oz Simple Syrup
    2-3 Dashes Angostura Bitters

    Mix all ingredients together and stir. Express and garnish with Lemon Peel.

  • GEISHA CAIPIRINHA

    2 oz iichiko Saiten
    4 Lime Wedges
    2-3 Tablespoons of Sugar
    Top with Soda

    Muddle Limes and Sugar together, add Saiten Shochu. Shake and pour into glass. Top with Soda.

  • SHOCHU TONIC

    2 oz iichiko Saiten
    Tonic Water

    Mix all ingredients together. Garnish with Orange or Lemon.


iichiko Silhouette

iichiko Silhouette is the traditional expression of shochu and Japan’s #1 shochu brand. Lighter and eminently drinkable, Silhouette pairs well with a wide range of cuisines and is traditionally enjoyed with food, at 25% ABV (alcohol by volume).



HOW TO DRINK

Silhouette is enjoyed straight or on the rocks; served with water (both cold and hot); served in a chu-hi (or shochu highball) mixed with soda and fruit juice; or served with oolong tea or matcha tea. Silhouette can also be a versatile base for low-alcohol cocktails.


  • PROPER PEARING

    1½ oz iichiko Silhouette
    1 oz Pear Juice
    ¾ oz Simple Syrup
    ¾ oz Lemon Juice
    Top with Prosecco

    Mix all ingredients together, except Prosecco, with Ice. Strain over Fresh Ice. Top & stir in Prosecco. Garnish with Pear Slices.
  • IICHEE POP

    1½ oz iichiko Silhouette
    1 oz Lychee Rosemary Syrup
    Splash of Soda Water

    Mix all ingredients in shaker. Short shake then double strain into glass. Add Ice, then Soda Water. Garnish with Rosemary Sprig.
  • THAT THING YOU DEW

    1½ oz iichiko Silhouette
    1 oz Honey Dew Melon Juice
    ¾ oz Ginger Syrup
    ¾ oz Lemon Juice
    6 Basil Leaves

    Shake all ingredients together with Ice. Strain over Fresh Ice. Garnish with Basil Sprig.


  • OITA GIMLET

    2 oz iichiko Silhouette
    ¾ oz Lime Juice
    ½ oz Simple Syrup
    Green Peppers

    Chop Green Peppers and muddle in shaker. Add remaining ingredients and Ice. Shake and strain into glass. Garnish with light amount of fresh cracked pepper.