Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Lighter Cocktail


Are you becoming bored with the same old vodka or rum drinks? Looking to mix up your summer cocktails? We suggest trying a classic Japanese liquor called Shochu.

Shochu is a Japanese alcohol typically made of distilled barley, sweet potatoes or rice. Not to be confused with sake, Shochu has a higher alcohol content (about 25 percent by volume) and an earthy taste. Also, it has a lower calorie content then most other liquors.

Besides being easy on your waistline, Shochu also appeals to the health-conscious. Research at Miyazaki Medical College showed that while all spirits provide an enzyme that dissolves blood clots, Shochu provides far more of it than any other spirit tested -- more than twice as much as wine, and 80 percent more than sake, which came in second.

Try it out. Here is one of Hip Hostess’ favorite Shochu creations and it only has 100 calories per glass! In this recipe we use Tombo Shochu for its hints of plum but any Shochu will work.

Tombo Shochu ($15; www.tomboshochu.com to find distributors)

Pour 3 oz Tombo Shochu in a cocktail shaker with ice, 6 raspberries, 2 teaspoons of simple syrup and juice from ½ lemon. Shake and strain.

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