A Toasty-Sweet Cocktail Where Rice Is Both Sweetener and Spirit

August  8, 2016

Chuhai is a bubbly drink made with shochu, a Japanese spirit distilled primarily from rice. And if it weren't in the name, you might never guess that rice is the unusual, sweetly toasty, surprisingly creamy force behind this super-refreshing cocktail.

Here, it's sweetened with a simple syrup steeped with toasted sweet rice and vanilla, giving it a cream soda-like flavor—and making it wonderfully addictive, even without the added spike of soju. Make a big batch of the syrup now and stash it in the fridge. Then the next time you're hankering for something bubbly and sweet (or looking for not-so-fruity summer cocktail), you need only to stir a bit together with soju, a splash of rice vinegar for brightness, and a long pour of seltzer water.

How else do you use rice drinks? Let us know in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • GetSomeNao
  • Caroline Lange
    Caroline Lange
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


GetSomeNao August 7, 2020
Way to steal another person's recipe and claim it as your own.
Caroline L. August 7, 2020
Hey GetSomeNao! Hope you're well. This post was part of an old series where Food52 editors would write articles featuring Community Picks recipes after they'd been photographed by the Food52 team. This recipe is absolutely hardlikearmour's! Thanks for commenting.