Shochu: Discovering Japan's most popular spirit

Japanese sake might be more well-known overseas, but in Japan, the most popular spirit is shochu. The Straits Times visits Furusawa Distillery, a 128-year-old family-run distillery, to learn more about the process of making sweet potato shochu.
About 2,500 kg of Kogane Sengan sweet potatoes are delivered daily to the distillery for the next day's production.
About 2,500 kg of Kogane Sengan sweet potatoes are delivered daily to the distillery for the next day's production.PHOTO: ZACHARY LIEW
Workers transfer the cut sweet potatoes to a machine to be washed.
Workers transfer the cut sweet potatoes to a machine to be washed. PHOTO: ZACHARY LIEW
Workers wash and sort the sweet potatoes.
Workers wash and sort the sweet potatoes. PHOTO: ZACHARY LIEW

MIYAZAKI - Mention Japanese alcohol and the first thing that usually comes to mind is sake.

But the drink of choice in the south of Kyushu, Japan, is shochu, a traditional distilled liquor.

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