4539 Metropolitan Ct, Frederick, Maryland 21704, United States

(301) 974-5227

American Shochu Company

Welcome to Your Favorite
"New American Spirit"!


Do You Shochu?

What's Shochu?

Shochu ("show-chew") is like a smooth vodka, softer and lighter.

In Japan, it's more popular than sake!

Ours is made right here in the U.S.:
a New American Spirit!

Here's a great article by NY Times Bestselling author Larry Olmsted about shochu:

The Best Spirit You've (Probably) Never Tasted: Japan's Shochu - Forbes

What's Shochu Like?

Shochu mixes well with everything.
There are endless possibilities.

Shochu and ...fruit sodas ...oolong or green tea ....juices ...even beer!

It makes for new, light cocktails, just the way you'd like. Experiment! We think you'll love it!

Then again, shochu connoisseurs also enjoy premium shochu straight or on ice. 

In Japan, shochu cocktails are called Chuhai ("chew-high"). 

Here's a fun article on Chuhai from The Drink Blog (they have great recipes for all sorts of cocktails):

The Drink Blog: Chuhai

Why American Shochu Company?

We make our shochu right here in Frederick, Maryland, where there is a lively growing community of craft distilleries, breweries and wineries.

And we're pioneering a totally new distilled spirit in America!

Our shochu has been taste-tested by the Chairman and execs of the Brewing Society of Japan. Their comment was, “Amano-san, you have shochu. Please sell it in America, where it's not well known!"

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Where to Find Umai! Shochu!

*New!* Now Order Online!


We’re now being carried at Modern Liquors in Washington DC, and they have an online shop, Liquor Express,  that delivers nationwide!


Download their Liquor Express App:
-Android: https://goo.gl/xM76SV
-Apple: https://goo.gl/2oV9vH

Our Liquor Stores


Find us on the shelves at Riverside Liquors, Orion Wine & Spirits, Wine World Beer & Spirits, Wine Districts, Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro, Ye Olde Spirits Shop, Petite Cellars, Modern Liquors, and all 25 Montgomery County Liquor & Wine stores.


All 25 Montgomery County Liquor & Wine locations:


Riverside Liquors:

1299 Riverbend Way # A, Frederick, Maryland

(301) 624-1742 


Orion Wine & Spirits:

8927 Fingerboard Road, Frederick, Maryland

(301) 810-5328



Wine World Beer & Spirits:

406 Constant Friendship Blvd, Abingdon, Maryland

(410) 569-8646



Wine Districts:

5213 Presidents Ct, Frederick, Maryland

(301) 898-2350


Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits & Bistro:

11011 Baltimore Ave, Beltsville, Maryland



Ye Old Spirits Shop:

1005 W 7th St, Frederick, Maryland




Petite Cellars:

11079 Resort Rd, Ellicott City, Maryland

(410) 750-0562



Modern Liquors:

1200 9th St NW, Washington, DC

(202) 289-1414



Our Restaurants


Ask for Umai! Shochu at VOLT Restaurant by Celebrity Top Chef Bryan Voltaggio, at Brewer’s Alley, Cafe NOLA, Roasthouse Pub, Firestone's Culinary Tavern, Jojo's Restaurant & Tap House, Daikaya, The Tasting Room, Jinya Ramen Bar, Surf House Island Cantina, and Tako Grill.



228 North Market Street, Frederick, Maryland

(301) 696-8658



Brewer’s Alley:

124 N. Market Street, Frederick, Maryland



Cafe NOLA:

4 E. Patrick Street, Frederick, Maryland



Roasthouse Pub:

5700 Urbana Pike, Frederick, Maryland



Firestone’s Culinary Tavern:

105 North Market Street, Frederick, Maryland



Jojo’s Restaurant & Tap House:

16 E. Patrick Street, Frederick, Maryland



Daikaya -Ramen -Izakaya:

705 6th St NW, Washington, DC



The Tasting Room:

101 N. Market St., Frederick, Maryland



Jinya Ramen Bar:

910 Prose Street, North Bethesda, Maryland



Surf House Island Cantina:

8925 Fingerboard Rd, Frederick Maryland

(240) 341-7157


Tako Grill:

4914 Hampden Ln, Bethesda, Maryland

(301) 652-7030



Upcoming Events

No upcoming events.


We're Raising Funds to Make More!

Our Brands: UMAI!


UMAI! is our flagship shochu. 

The most common reaction we get is,

"that's smooth!" 

Enjoy it straight, on the rocks, 

or with your favorite mixer.

Bottled at 24% Alcohol/Volume, 375ml

UMAI! Shochu

Spirits distilled from grain

Ingredients: R.O. (Reverse Osmosis) Water, Organic Barley, Yeast and Koji.

Distilled and Bottled in Frederick, Maryland in a small-batch distillery.

Our Brands: Zen Warrior


Zen Warrior is bolder, for a fuller barley flavor and aroma. If you enjoy a single malt whiskey or your tequila reposado chilled, neat, you're going to love Zen Warrior on the rocks!

Bottled at 24% Alcohol/Volume.

Spirits distilled from grain.

Ingredients: R.O. (Reverse Osmosis) Water, Organic Barley, Yeast and Koji.

Distilled and Bottled in Frederick, Maryland.

What's Next? Raising Funds!


What's Next?

We're making daily small batches, and are available in the Frederick, Maryland market in limited release, at VOLT Restaurant by celebrity Top Chef Bryan Voltaggio, and at Riverside Liquors and Orion Wine & Spirits.

We have a plan in place to ramp up production for full commercial release.

We're raising funds right now to secure additional equipment and increase production!

Stay tuned for our crowdfunding campaign!

We think our locally produced Shochu is a unique opportunity to create a new category of spirits, even as craft distilling is booming as a whole. 

Next up, canned cocktails!

Who Are We?


We're Lynn and Taka Amano. We live in Silver Spring, Maryland. We met at UNC-Chapel Hill, fell in love, got married...29 years ago. You could say our story has been the bridging of the American and Japanese cultures.

Taka is from Yokohama, Japan, a Tokyo prep school science nerd, but got his degree in Interdisciplinary Studies—Physics, Philosophy and Art. He created a business helping American companies navigate the sales culture in Japan, and has been traveling to Japan monthly for the past ten years. Yes, lot's of shochu, work requirement, you know?

Lynn is from Raleigh, North Carolina, with roots in Iowa, Oklahoma, New York and New Jersey. She's the trained scientist, with a B.S. Biology from UNC-CH. She also has a Masters in Political Management from George Washington University, and is quite the politico. She's been heavily involved in local school advocacy—lots to talk about over a shochu or two :)



Q. Is shochu like sake?

A. Shochu is a distilled spirit, more like vodka or rum. Sake is fermented, or brewed, more like beer.

Shochu is bottled typically at 24–25% alcohol by volume, although it can be higher or lower (we have a 40% line in the works). It can be mixed (making a drink that is around 5–10%) or taken straight or on the rocks.

Sake is typically 15–16% ABV (Japanese law says less than 22%), and is almost never diluted.

Q. Is shochu like vodka?

A. Shochu is often compared to vodka, and the two are similar in both being distilled and typically clear, white spirits.

The big difference is that vodka, like all western spirits, is made with malted barley. Making shochu involves koji, or Aspergillus luchuensis (that's koji in the photo above). Koji is also used in making miso, soy sauce, and sake, but those actually use different species of Aspergillus. With shochu, we use A. luchuensis. 

Fun fact: the USDA first entered Aspergillus awamori, Aspergillus luchuensis, and Aspergillus luchuensis mut. kawachi into their database (that would be all the shochu Aspergilluses, folks) when Taka registered to import A. luchuensis!

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Contact Us

American Shochu Company

4539 Metropolitan Ct, Frederick, MD 21704

(301) 351-3983

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