TaKaRa Shouchuu Highball Dry / タカラ焼酎ハイボール ドライ

Alcohol: 7% (24.5 ml)
Quantity: 350 ml
Sugar: 0.7-2.1 g
Calories:  147 kcal
Price: MSRP 141 yen (108 yen at AEON)
Official Site: http://shochu-hiball.jp/

Quick question, do you hate your tastebuds? Do you want to kill them, or at the very least inflict pain? If yes, then the TaKaRa Shouchuu series may be for you!

Nah, I’m kidding. I don’t dislike the Shouchuu Highball series THAT much, but I don’t like shouchuu in general. Shouchuu is a clear, Japanese hard liquor (usually between 20 and 40% alcohol by volume), very similar to vodka, made from distilling either rice or potatoes. I happen to think it’s also a bad spirit and many people today don’t like it themselves either and those who do only do so out of a misguided desire to preserve “tradition” – even if that tradition is crap – and… okay, starting to rant. I’ll stop that.

They say that shouchuu gives the worst hangovers, but I suspect since it’s a clear liquid lacking purin and other impurities, the reason people misattributed it to hangovers because some tend to start finish an evening of partying by mixing it with water at the second or third bar because most bars offer a whole bottle at much less a price than another round of beers or cocktails. (Remember folks, if you’re going to engage in heavy drinking – never a good idea anyway – always start with the high alcohol content stuff and move down to the low alcohol content – “liquor then beer, have no fear” – because a shot or two of hard liquor will lower your inhibitions and judgement , so you will sip large quantities of relatively low alcohol beer. Ending the evening with shots or a lot of 20/40% hard liquor is a prescription for vomiting and a nasty hangover.)

The TaKaRa Shouchuu Highball chuuhai series utilizes an appealing design. The can has tons of small indented cells to make gripping it easy and sports a cool, retro early 20th century art design with an interesting illustration on the back. The can also lets us know this has absolutely no sweet taste, no carbohydrates, no purines (for those scared of gout), and is made from real shouchuu.

The “dry” entry is just that, totally dry in flavor and finish. Like the Torys Highball chuuhai, I could dismiss this as a drink for people too lazy to just mix their own shochuu with soda water, but the can design is so neat I’ll forgive it. There are several different flavors in this series using various kinds of fruit flavoring, so while I might not like this series, I do look forward to sampling the rest and collecting the cans’ images.



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