I’m sharing yuzu flavor as it is a signature fruit used in Japanese cuisine, I’m not much of a drinker but on some occasion, I enjoy this Yuzu Chuhai.
Every Mondays and Fridays of June and July we will be featuring some my favourite food bloggers for the first time here at Ang Sarap. These bloggers are exceptional and served as a big influence of what is Ang Sarap now, so please do visit and follow every one of them (if you haven’t yet) and I will assure you that you won’t be disappointed.
I am not sure if I need to introduce Nami as her name is like a household brand in the blogging world, everyone knows her and if you don’t where you during the last 2 years. It is hard to believe that she just started her blog in January 2011 with the amount of followers, the rich contents on her site and an award (Winner of CBS San Francisco’s Most Valuable Blogger Award 2011 Dining/Entertainment category) it seems like she was doing this for more 5 years now, like me she started her blog as a way to document or keep her recipes. While most of the recipes are Japanese, there are some which are not, there is also some occasional reviews and life events.
I guess like everyone, I love how she presents her recipes, the cooking, writing, food presentation and the excellent photography. Taking a photo of the dish alone I know is a hard work but taking a photo of the step by step procedure is bringing it to another level, that is true dedication. As a result this makes her recipes to easy to follow, that does not mean that her recipes are complicated as she follows the virtue true to any Japanese cuisine, simple but aesthetically pleasing and delicious. So if you haven’t heard about this blog I suggest you go there now and see what your missing. Let us all welcome Nami.
Hi everyone! My name is Nami and I share quick and easy Japanese recipes on my blog Just One Cookbook. Back in April when I was visiting Japan to see my family, Raymund shared his Kare Kare recipe on my blog and some of you might remember my blog from that time.
This Wednesday on July 4th, US is celebrating its Independence Day and many of us will be out with friends and family enjoying food and drinks. Here’s a perfect summer drink to share, a delicious yuzu-flavored Japanese cocktail.
Chuhai or Chu Hai (チューハイ, 酎ハイ) is a cocktail containing the Japanese alcohol called shochu (焼酎), soda, and any kind of fruit juice. According to Wikipedia, the name chuhai is derived from “shochuhighball” (you can read more about highball here). Chuhai are very popular inJapan, commonly served in izakaya-style restaurants and restaurants that cater to Japanese salary workers.
So you might ask, what kind of alcohol is Shochu? Shochu is typically distilled from barley, sweet potatoes, rice, or buckwheat, and typically it contains 25% alcohol by volume, which is weaker than whisky or vodka but much stronger than sake or wine. It has a nutty or earthy flavor to it depending on what it’s distilled from.
Both Japanese Shochu and Korean soju came from the Chinese word 燒酒 (shāojiǔ), which literary means “burning liquor” in Chinese. If you are interested in shochu, my friend Sissi in Switzerland, who is the author of With a Glass, wrote a very nice introduction post about her new love for Shochu. In the post, she also introduced another very detailed and informative blog which covers pretty much everything about shochu. Hopefully this will help you become more familiar with shochu.
Now getting back to Chuhai, some of the most common flavors include lime, grapefruit, kiwi, ume (Japanese plum), lychee, peach, yuzu, and yogurt.
Today I’m sharing yuzu flavor as it is a signature citrus fruit used in Japanese cuisine and it’s also my favorite. I’m not much of a drinker but on some occasion, I do enjoy refreshing citrusy drink just like this Yuzu Chuhai.
Thank you Raymund for having me here today. Happy a great Independence Day for fellow Americans, and Kanpai (Cheers)!!!
1/4 cup shochu (brand or type doesn’t really matter)
1 Tbsp. simple syrup
1 tsp. yuzu extract
1–2 Tbsp. Korean Citron Tea (Yuja Cha) (optional)
Lime/lemon slices for garnish (optional)
Simple Syrup (enough for 2 drinks)
1 part (1/4 cup) water
2 parts (1/2 cup) sugar
Combine club soda, shochu, simple syrup, and yuzu extract in a glass and mix well.
Add ice cube and Korean Citron Tea (optional) and mix well.
Garnish with lime or lemon, and serve immediately.
For Simple Syrup, bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water, stirring constantly. Once the sugar is dissolved completely, remove from heat and let cool completely and thicken.
wow! now I’m thirsty! I usually have a hot Yuja cha (Koean citron tea) or use it as dressing for my salad sometimes…, but cold drink with it.. sounds interesting! Your Yuzu Chuhai sounds so great for this summer! Thank you for sharing!
I love Yuja cha and often drink it at night. Hope you enjoy the drink!
Yum! that looks really refreshing! I remember the kare kare recipe well!
Thank you Jenny!
Thanks Jenny! Glad you remember his recipe! =)
What an interesting drink that would surely cool me down on a hot day like everyone is experiencing in the US this week.
Thank you Maureen!
What a lovely drink! And the photography is stunning!
Thank you very much Tessa. 🙂
What a great cocktail recipe from Nami ! Glad you featured her, Raymund. She’s one of my favorite foodies and her recipes are so easy to follow. Happy Mon. & CHEERS ! Thanks again, Nami & let’s toast to the rest of the summer 🙂
Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for your kind comment. I hope your summer is going well, and cheers!
Wow Nami great to see you here too.. you’re everywhere girl… you are a rock star in the blogoshphere.
and raymund it was great to have invited Nami over. .. now let me fix my thirst before I die of dehydration… excuse my drama haha!
Thank you Malou for the kind words. 🙂
Thank you Raymund for having me today and the kind words you mentioned (household brand?! lol! We just share same circle of friends. :-)). I admire your dedication to post recipes frequently for readers and all of your dishes are outstanding. Your knowledge and ability to cook many dishes from different cuisines is amazing! Thanks a lot Raymund!
Nami, it’s one of the best cocktail ideas I have ever seen! It’s such a big surprise to see shochu on someone else’s blog (actually on two blogs!). Thank you so much for the kind mention and for the link. I remember very well you are also a big fan of shochu. It’s such a magical, sophisticated and elegant drink… I usually just have it with sparkling water and a slice of lime, but since I love the taste of yuzu juice, I am thrilled to learn a new way to enjoy shochu. I am making your cocktail next Friday (or before!) and drinking to your health. Thank you for the brilliant idea!
Glad you liked this recipe Sissi. Oh I always remember how much you love shochu! 🙂 Hope you enjoy this shochu cocktail! 😉
A gorgeous drink, Nami. I just have one suggestion for the recipe write up.
Though I do appreciate the accuracy/specificity of shochu as the liquor involved, perhaps you could also include sake as a possible substitute as it’s more familiar and less daunting in case we want to try it and don’t have access to shochu. Although the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) lists 2 brands in their inventory, neither are available in my town of 210,000.
I had to look up the exact difference between the two.
Shochu is a Japanese clear distilled spirit similar to vodka. The main difference between sake and shochu is sake (or “nihon-shu” in Japanese) is brewed, whereas shochu is distilled.
Please don’t mind the criticism but not everyone is familiar with the term or has access to that particular alcohol.
Sake has an image of older people’s drink in Japan whereas shochu is for younger generation. However, people started to make similar cocktail with sake, and call it Japanese cocktail. I’m not a big fan of sake drinks (I don’t like the taste of it) so I only use it for cooking.
I’m wondering if you can get Korean Soju instead? Soju is a bit sweeter because of added sugar (sochu is not). If you want to make similar flavor, soju is closer to shochu than sake. Hope this helps?
Turns out they DO have Soju in my city … 3 different kinds. At one of the stores that’s about a 10 minute drive. 🙂 Guess we’re not a sophisticated enough town for them to carry Shochu here. Thanks for the substitution suggestion.
Yuzu … I can get in a couple of places.
CHAMISUL FRESH SOJU
LCBO 173385 | 360 mL bottle
Price: $ 6.00
CHARM SOJU LIQUOR
LCBO 40626 | 360 mL bottle
Price: $ 5.45
PS: I bought a bottle of sake (decent mid range priced, to drink cold) a couple of years ago. Neither the nephew nor I really enjoyed the taste though I suppose we could have tried to get accustomed to it. In any case, the bottle went to my dad.
I THINK he drank it. But then, he used to make his own distilled alcohol from various fruits and berries which were allowed to ferment so he had a higher tolerance/appreciation of various forms of spirits. At least he never mentioned not drinking it. 🙂
It looks like I cannot respond to your newest comment, so let me respond here. Glad you could find soju. Precisely it’s a bit different from shochu but it’s closer choice than sake. I also enjoy Korean soju cocktail at Korean bar (way back then before kids). You might find all different kinds of yogurt & soju mix drink..hmm those are delicious too… 🙂 This is me talking who don’t drink much alcohol in general. Haha. If you have extra sake you don’t drink, always use for cooking! 😉
I bought a bottle of Chamisul Fresh Soju yesterday on my way home from visiting my mom. I still have to get the club soda, yuzu and citron tea but I’m definitely making this drink this weekend. I’d go shopping today but with temps in the mid 90s today and tomorrow and 98 deg F for Fri, I’m staying in unless I absolutely have to go outside. 🙂
Glad to hear you got a bottle! I hope you enjoy this drink as it’s my favorite! Wow it’s so hot… when we were watching fireworks, it was 52F at 9:30pm. It’s crazy cold here even summer…
Lovely! Thanks for sharing, Nami. And to bring me to this blog!
Your welcome Leemei! 🙂
What a perfect match for a cocktail! I normally drink Korean Citron tea hot, but this sounds like a perfect marriage with shochu. =) Thanks for another great recipe, Nami.
Korean citron tea here is for the zest. Yuzu juice doesn’t come with zest but the Korean citron tea gives nice texture to the drink (center drink has korean citron vs right glass without).
Hi, Nami! Glad to see you here! This drink sounds delightful, but as I am allergic to alcohol, maybe I can tweak this to be non-alcoholic? Hehe…As you know, yuzu is my fave!!!!!
Sure, we have many yuzu flavor drinks in Japan. Maybe I’ll try to come up recipe one day if I can get enough yuzu fruits. 🙂
what a fabulous summer drink!
I didn’t know Nami had been blogging for just over a year. She’s so successful I thought she’d been around for a lot longer. What a beautiful and refreshing looking drink. I love the blue background xx
Haha yes, precisely 1 year and half. =) Thank you for your kind words!
I’ve never heard of Shochu but it sounds quite interesting – sweet potatoes and rice? Bet it does have a unique flavor. Will have to look for it next time I head to the liquor store. This drink does look quite refreshing and just sweet enough for me. Not sure where to find Yuzu extract. That’s a new one. Love all the cocktails this summer! This one is so unique, but then it’s Nami!!! 🙂 Great post you two!
The straight shochu is a bit strong for me (I’m still a kid. haha) but definitely goes well with fruity flavor. Yuzu extract/juice… I know this is can be most difficult one for people who don’t have an access to Japanese supermarket. You might have a luck in getting yuzu fruit itself. Lots of fancy restaurants uses it so hopefully local high end stores carry it. 🙂
So refreshing and to make it homemade is a nice treat.
A funny story for you…Nami-san when we first moved to Japan the first night night we spent in the hotel my young boy was thirsty so we looked in the hotel mini-bar refrigerator. I did not want him drinking caffeine/coke so late at night so I pulled out (what I thought was a sprite/7 up drink equivalent) which was actually chuhai. My son, 10 years old at the time says, “Mom this drink tastes funny.” I replied we are in Asia now and things will taste different.” Then after he drank about 1/2 of the can and much unexpected giggling and effects I realized my grave error. The next day I started Nihongo lessons so I could start to read katakana and hiragana. So desu ka….Have a great day and a great post. BAM
So funny!!! You know when I was growing up, we can relatively have easy access to alcohol in vending machine in the neighborhood (now it’s a little more strict). We don’t really have an ID for kids so no one knows what age you are. Those can chuhai is quite sweet (it’s almost like fruit soda) – which is why I like it… and I only “enjoy” drinking those fruity drinks. Arigato Bam for sharing funny story with us. 🙂
Nami, this looks like the perfect summer refresher and ideal as a celebratory drink. I think I would love trying this the next time we venture out for Japanese ;-). I hope you have a fabulous holiday with your family Nami ~ thank you for sharing this delightful looking beverage.
Most of Japanese restaurants here don’t carry soju because you need a hard liquor license. Bars, maybe. Thank you for the kind words, Kelly! 🙂
This looks like something I will drink.. stunning photos, Nami..
Thank you very much! 🙂
It is so nice to see Nami here,
Nami this looks such a fantastic drink after long crazy day running behind kids n activities..LOL You know what I am talking right!!
Raymund what a lovely guest post indeed!!
Haha you are right! We moms need a drink to relax…but I’m not much of a drinker so I end up with chocolate. =D
Nami, i really like this recipe, so easy and fast to prepare.
Thank you. Yes, as long as you have the ingredients, it’s very quick to prepare and pretty smooth as well. 🙂
Hi Nami! You know I love a good cocktail and this looks awesome.
Thank you so much! 🙂
This sounds so refreshing and perfect for our hot, hot, hot weather!
I so wish it’s hot weather here. Some day can be “warm” but mostly cold like winter (but SF summer can be colder than winter, did you know that?)… I miss hot summer I hated while I was in Japan. Haha. Maybe I’ll take that back. It was way too hot… =)
Thank you Raymund for having Nami as your guest and you are right, to most bloggers and readers, Nami doesn’t need an introduction because she and her blog is just very popular. Great looking drink, Nami! 🙂
Thanks Raymund! I’m trying hard to learn how to take pictures like you!! 😉
Did I say Raymund… =D Sorry Ray, you know I meant you. My husband is always confused by you two when I talk about both of you. Haha.
Great cocktail! I’ve never heard of shochu – I’ll have to check it out. Really nice job with the photography.
Thank you! Yes, unless you know about Japanese cuisine well or have been to Japan, shochu is not so well known in the US. I’m glad that I could introduce it to you. 🙂
I don’t drink alcohol but I am in love with the picture, Nami is indeed a very talented photographer and a wonderful blogger and anyone who have not met her is missing out.
Thank you for having her as a guest Raymund
Thank you so much for your kind words Sawsan! 🙂
Hi Raymund and Nami! I’ve been following Nami for some time now and absolutely love her stories, food and photography! Actually both your blogs are very informative when it comes to the dishes’ history and I like that. 🙂 Nami, beautiful pics as usual. Yummy!
Thank you Martyna! I learned so much about other cuisines thanks to blogging. Especially Raymund features so many different cuisines on his blog – it’s amazing!
Very excited, Nami, and a little ‘buzzed’.
I went out shopping this morning and bought a piece of pork belly for the recipe you posted earlier and when I got home, I made this.
Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂 It was great.
I’ve never tried yuzu before, but would love to! Never had anything like this before.
WOW that would be such an amazingly refreshing drink (your photos are also gorgeous !)
This is just beautiful Nami!