In preparing for a trip back to Tokyo next month, I wanted to see if my favorite canned chu-hai (shochu highball) was still available.
Mercian is more known for their wine, but their "Honshibori" series of canned chu-hai are the best in class. "Honshibori" meaning something like "freshly squeezed". Of course nothing in a can could beat freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, a splash of sour mix, some soda, and a heavy hand of poured shochu, but the "Honshibori Grapefruit" from Mercian comes pretty darn close. The label on the can boasts that the drink is 28% fruit juice, which I guess beckons the question- is the other 72% shochu? No, but these drinks are 7% alcohol. Anyhow, I was pleasently surprised to see that besides lemon, grapefruit, lime, and orange, Mercian is this month, launching two more types- "Winter Citrus" and "Wakayama Mikan". I didn't even know Wakayama Prefecture was famous for mikans, but this drink boasts a whopping 44% fruit juice content. Can't wait to try both of them.
These chu-hai tend to sell at a slight premium over others- especially the Kirin offerings, but the price is worth it. It's cheaper than beer, more alcohol, and less calories....You'll always find chu-hai on my training table!