It’s not sake. It’s not soju. It’s shochu — a surprisingly smooth liquor, perfect for enjoying anytime.
Mugio is a premium shochu, distilled in Japan’s world-famous Kyushu region.
Don’t be fooled by the smooth simplicity of this versatile drink. It’s crafted from long-standing tradition and with the obsessive attention to quality that Japan is famous for. Carefully selected barley grains are brought together with pristine mountain water collected from the base of Mount Kanmuri in Kagoshima.
The result? A uniquely refreshing liquor and your new go-to for mixing, toasting, sipping, and unwinding.
Quite literally, Mugio means “barley man.” It’s both a nod to its recipe and a mission statement about how to enjoy it.
Mugio breaks with tradition by forgoing Kagoshima’s shochu stand-by of sweet potato and using the hearty barley grain as its central ingredient, producing a distinctively smooth, dry flavor when distilled. It makes for the kind of drink that goes down easy and never gets boring, so Mugio isn’t the bottle you stash away “for a special occasion.” This is everyday refreshment for whenever and wherever.
Like all fine liquors, Mugio has a versatility that makes it both a superb mixer and a stellar standalone beverage. Stir or shake it into any classic, clear-liquor cocktail for a refreshing twist on your old favorites. Or enjoy it in its simplest form, from bottle to glass, straight or on the rocks, so its unique flavor takes center stage.
Leona Togawa is an award-winning Wake Skate athlete, a third-generation brewer, and the founder of Mugio.
Born and raised in Kagoshima prefecture, Togawa spent his childhood fetching water from the base of Mount Kanntake for his family — a ritual he continues to this day.
As the first grandchild of Hiroyoshi Yamamoto and the third generation of his family to run the Yamamoto Shochu Distillery, he was always destined for a life as a brewer. But before answering the call of fate, he took some time after studying brewing at Tokyo University of Agriculture Junior College to become a wakeboarder.
In this, too, his affinity for water was undeniable, winning the All-Japan Wake Skate Class Championship in 2013, qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, participating and placing third in the 2014 World Cup, and winning the All-Japan Wake Skate Class in 2015.
In 2016, Togawa took up his place in the family business, crafting some of the region’s finest beverages, including Mugio.