This week on Japan Eats, host Akiko Katayama is joined in the studio by Jesse Falowitz, whose long travels around Asia finally lead to his opening a shōchū business in Japan.

Falowitz calls shōchū the predecessor to whiskey in Japan, and puts its flavor profile “somewhere between a sake, a whiskey, and a vodka.” He tells us all about how the drink is made, why single distillation matters, and shōchū’s possible next conquest: the cocktail bar.

Jesse Falowitz, Sochu distillery

Jesse Falowitz