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Chūhai (チューハイ or 酎ハイ), often sold as Chu-Hi as a canned drink, is an alcoholic drink originating from Japan. The name chūhai is an abbreviation of "shōchū highball" (焼酎ハイボール). Traditional chūhai is made with shōchū and carbonated water flavored with lemon, though some modern commercial variants use vodka in place of shōchū. The flavors available have recently multiplied, including lime, grapefruit, apple, orange, pineapple, grape, kyoho grape, kiwi, ume, yuzu, lychee, peach, strawberry cream, and cream soda.
For the chūhai sold in bars and restaurants, the alcohol content can be quite low, allowing those with a low tolerance for alcohol to drink safely. Canned chūhai, however, can have alcohol levels as high as 9% (18 proof) and is often sold in convenience stores and vending machines. Chūhai is served in tall glasses or mugs as drinks for individuals, making it less social than other traditional Japanese bar drinks like sake, beer, or whisky, which can be shared by pouring portions from a large bottle. Fresh chūhai nama chūhai (生酎ハイ) is also sometimes served, featuring fresh-squeezed juice; in some cases guests squeeze their own juice. Due to the high sugar content, the number of calories in each bottle can be quite high compared to other alcoholic beverages.
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