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Words From The Trail

New To The Trail And To Utah

On the heals of their other Utah first, the Apparition Absinthe Verte released in October 2019, Holystone is now distilling a shochu in very small batches. This shochu, not to be confused with soju, was released in mid December 2019 and comes in at 25% ABV and is made up of 78% barley and 22% rice.

Haling from Japan, shochu is a clear spirit that is typically distilled using sweet potato, barley, or rice and can be anywhere from 25% to 35% ABV. Ethan “used methods from the 16th century, from building the Koji box, to growing and cultivating the Koji, to the dual Maromi fermentation, and single distillation”. Tsunami Shochu, called Mugi-shochu in Japan, can be consumed on it’s own or subbed into your favorite cocktail. Currently being served at Tsunami Restaurants ,amongst others, in the area you can also purchase it by the bottle at the distillery in Murray. Due to the nature of a “small batch” as this is, the likelihood that you will find this at your local DABC is not very high but it does add yet another reason to jump on Utah’s Spirit Trail and find out what others are experiencing.

Holystone Distilling is just one of the many distilleries on Utah’s Spirit Trail so if you are looking for more information be sure to subscribe at

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Below are a few cocktail ideas that utilize shochu.

Old Fashioned Samurai

1 ¾ oz Shochu

4 dashes bitters

1 oz simple syrup

orange rind or orange slice

maraschino cherry (optional)

1. Stir all liquid ingredients in mixing glass or shaker, filled with ice.

2. Gently strain in into rocks glass filled with large ice cubes.

3. Garnish with orange rind or orange slice, and cherry.

Tokyo Mule

1 oz Shochu

3-4 oz ginger beer

½ lime, cut up lime wheel garnish

1. In a copper mug, or bucket (10oz old fashioned glass), fill with ice.

2. Add Shochu, fill with ginger beer, and squeeze lime juice.

3. Garnish with lime wheel.

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