Unfortunately, there were only two Sakés available to taste at the Boston Wine Expo, both which I have previously tasted. Ty Ku had their Black and White Sakés and I am a big fan of their White. But I was able to try something new to me, the Ty Ku Soju.
Soju, also known as shochu, is a distilled liquor from Asia which can be made from numerous ingredients, including barley, rice, sweet potatoes, brown sugar, chestnuts, buckwheat, shiso leaf, sesame, and even milk. It can be drank on its own or used in a cocktail. It also usually has less alcohol than liquors like vodka and rum.
The Ty Ku Soju comes in a distinctive blue bottle, pictured above, which is intended to represent "mist covered mountain ranges and the pristine blue waters of the Far East." The Soju is made from 100% premium barley and pure spring water. It is all natural and does not contain any sweeteners, preservatives or additives. It has also been multiple-distilled.
I tasted the Soju on its own, and then in a cocktail, a Tokyo Tea. The Soju has a smooth, mild taste and it is something I could drink on its own, chilled on the rocks. It reminds me somewhat of a mild vodka. The Tokyo Tea contained Soju and sweet iced tea, and it too was smooth and any alcohol taste was very muted. The Soju seemed to cut some of the sweetness of the iced tea, which I think is a good thing as I dislike iced tea that is too sweet.
This would make a good entry Soju, to introduce newcomers to this Asian spirit. It could thus be a stepping stone to different types of Soju, made from different ingredients. Expand your horizons and check out Soju.