5 Japanese Liquors You Have to Try

What are some Japanese liquors you have to try?

  1. Sake
  2. Shochu
  3. Umeshu
  4. Japanese whisky
  5. Yuzushu

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, most people's minds jump to the usual suspects: beer, wine, and spirits like whiskey and vodka. But did you know that Japan has a long and rich tradition of crafting its own unique and flavorful liquors?

These Japanese liquors you have to try range from light and refreshing to complex and smoky, with each one boasting its own distinct character and charm. From clear and crisp to golden and syrupy, Japanese liquors offer something for every palate.

In this blog, we'll explore the fascinating world of these flavorful drinks so you can discover the beauty and depth of Japanese liquor for yourself.



Dubbed by Japanese locals as the “drink of the gods” and considered by the rest of the world as the quintessential Japanese beverage, sake rose to international popularity thanks to its flavor profile and versatility. It can range from floral and fruity to savory and earthy, it can be served chilled or warm, and it’s the perfect partner for a variety of foods from sushi and sashimi to grilled meats and vegetables.

Among the different sake varieties, the Daiginjo-shu is considered to be of the highest quality. Fortunately for sake lovers, we have quite a few brands that hit the spot among our collection of sake in the Philippines.

Try the Dassai 23 Junmai Daiginjo on for size. We’re sure you’ll be wowed by its multifaceted flavors, fruity hints, and luscious aromas.


Sake is far from the only alcoholic beverage Japan has to offer. May we interest you in the complex and versatile notes of shochu? This distilled liquor is made from grains or vegetables like barley, sweet potatoes, or rice, and it’s distilled rather than fermented, which results in higher alcohol content and a distinct flavor profile.

How to describe its taste? Shochu has a complex and layered flavor—it can be sweet and earthy or smoky and nutty depending on the type of ingredients used, the distillation method, or even the type of water used in the production process.

The Dassai Junmai Daiginjo Sake Lees Shochu captures the essence of Dassai. This premium shochu is made with the lees of Dassai sake, which provides the signature Dassai aroma and velvety smooth texture. Sake lees, also known as sake kasu, is a white, pasty by-product of sake production that can be used in various dishes.


Ume is a type of sour plum popular in Japan. It’s also the key ingredient in our next Japanese liquor, Umeshu. The plums are steeped in alcohol and sugar and then left to ferment for several months, resulting in a sweet and tangy, refreshing, and complex flavor. Some people mix in soda or tonic water for a refreshing cocktail, but many also enjoy Umeshu.

The Choya Umeshu Honey mixes honey, cane spirit, and the quintessential ume fruit to create a refreshing, beautifully balanced drink. Try it today!

Japanese Whisky

Japanese Whisky

Japan has come to be known for its high-quality whisky, especially among lovers of the drink worldwide. It’s often compared to Scottish whisky because it’s heavily influenced by the country’s whisky-making traditions, but it also incorporates local Japanese ingredients and techniques. Made from a variety of grains, it is aged in oak barrels for several years, allowing the flavors to mature and develop over time.

If you’re looking for a whisky drink of the highest quality, we have the Mars Maltage Cosmo for you. On the nose, expect hints of fig, dried banana chips, and apricot tea. On the palate, the taste pronounced roundness of acacia honey, currants with caramel sauce, and a bit of smoke. Then cap off with a finish of mushroom, grape, and roasted almond.


Similar to how umeshu is made from the ume fruit, the yuzushu is a citrus liquor made from the local Japanese yuzu fruit. A kind of Japanese cross between lemon, lime, and orange, yuzu is often used as a culinary spice.

The Kizakura Yuzu Shu High Ball is made from yuzu infused in Kizakura semi-dry sake and carbonated to make it even more refreshing. This one’s perfect for a hot day!

Key Takeaway

In this article, we explored a range of Japanese liquors, each with its own distinct flavor profile and significance in Japanese culture. These may be the most popular Japanese liquors, but a whole range of Japanese wines, spirits, and beverages is available for the curious and interested drinker.

Whether you're a seasoned liquor enthusiast or just starting to explore the world of spirits, there's something for you to enjoy at Ralph’s. So take a sip, sit back, and savor the rich and diverse flavors of Japanese liquors with us—check out our shop today!