1 Beer

When asked to pick your poison what do you choose? In a recent survey, people in Japan were asked to select their favorite alcoholic beverage. The results, as we’ll see after the break, were quite surprising.

(The following survey was conducted by Japanese website Shunkan News, and was taken by a total of 20,048 people. Respondents who answered, “I don’t drink alcohol” or those who were underage have been omitted from the results.)

Japan’s favorite drinks:

Beer: 34.9%

Wine: 12.6%

Nihonshu (Japanese Rice Wine): 10.5%

Shochu: 17.7%

Plum Liquor: 13.6%

Makgeolli (Korean Rice Wine): 0.9%

Whiskey/High Ball: 4.3%

Other Alcohol: 5.5%

Let’s take a look at the rankings and comments from respondents:

#1 Beer 

“Drinking a cold one at the end of a hard day at work is the best!”

“I started loving beer once Asahi Super Dry came out.”

 1 Beer

#2 Shochu

“Whenever I think of winter, I think of shochu and hot water.”

“Shochu is really cheap, so I can buy a lot and enjoy trying all of the different types.”

“Shochu on the rocks!”

The above comments are from those who love drinking, regardless of the type, but even those who don’t usually indulge in alcohol have come to love shochu. One respondent comments, “It’s tastes like juice when mixed, so even though I usually can’t drink alcohol, I can drink shochu.” Shochu is easily combined with a number of juices or cocktail mixes and the alcohol flavor is easily masked, making for a crowd-pleasing beverage. Shochu also comes in a number of premixed canned drinks, called chu-hai, and is referred to as a “sour” when lemon flavor and carbonated water are added.

4 shochu 

#3 Fruit Liquor

Most people responded that they enjoy umeshu (plum wine) when it comes to fruit liquor, but a few people said they prefer apricot wine.

5 umeshu 

#4 Wine

“It goes really well with food. I’m satisfied after drinking just one glass.”

 2 - wine

#5 Nihonshu (Japanese rice wine)

“Hot or cold, you can drink nihonshu any time of the year.”

3 Nihon shu 

The vote for #4 (wine) and #5 (Japanese rice wine) was split. Many people said that they prefer either drink depending on the food they are eating.

#6 Other Alcohol

Brandy, rum, tequila, vodka, gin, and many other types of alcohol made the list.


#7 Whiskey/High Ball

“I usually drink the middle-grade whiskey made in Japan, but I’ll allow myself to indulge in the expensive stuff twice a year.”

“Last year around summer time, my wife and I started drinking whiskey all the time. We’ll drink a glass together pretty much every night.”


#8 Makgeolli (Korean Rice Wine)

Commonly known as “makkori” in Japanese, Makgeolli is a type of Korean rice wine made from a mixture of fermented wheat and rice. It has a milky white color and a tangy taste.

“Since it’s fermented, makkori is good for you! I looove it!” gushes one respondent.

6 makkori

If we separate the survey between men and women, the results are a little different…

Favorite alcohol of men:

#1 Beer: 43.1%

#2 Shochu: 17.3%

#3 Japanese rice wine: 14.2%

Favorite alcohol of women:

#1 Beer: 26.8%

#2 Fruit Liquor: 21.5%

#3 Wine: 15.9%

According to these results, the alcoholic beverages of choice for men are beer, shochu, and Japanese rice wine. But for women, the keyword is “easy to drink,” as shown by their top three choices: beer, fruit liquor, and wine.

Source: Shukan News

Images: Wikipedia