The traditional methods of distilling shochu – Japan’s national spirit – date back to the 16th century and took root in the mountain villages and lush valleys of Kyushu Island. Initially a rice-based distillate - akin to a distilled sake - shochu evolved and its makers innovated; incorporating a broader range of local harvests ranging from popular ingredients like barley, sweet potato, and buckwheat, to more esoteric ingredients like pumpkin, chestnut, green tea and dozens more. Their spirits aimed to capture the pure essence and natural flavors of these raw materials through single distillation, and used special koji microbes to fuel fermentation and impart beautifully earthy, umami notes.
Mizu, the moniker for 美鶴乃舞 (Mi-zu-no-mai) – meaning “dance of the beautiful cranes” – is a ‘authentic’ honkaku shochu from the small village of Arita in northern Kyushu. Each expression is handmade and single distilled in the traditional way by the Munemasa Shuzo Co., yet they strive to create uniquely styled shochus of uncommon character. Mizu is made solely from 100% locally farmed, seasonally inspired ingredients, and at 35% abv, is a nod to higher proof shochus of old with greater depth and complexity.