Why Awamori and Shochu?  continued | page 2  


 

One key factor distinguishes Awamori from any of its rival beverages, the centuries old spirit is only made with some of the world’s finest ingredients. This is not your average run-of-the-mill raw material liquor. Awamori does not use second grade ingredients like potato, sugarcane, or plants. Awamori is made with first rate ingredients, starting with the finest imported Thai Indica rice. Awamori has a light, sweet aroma and taste; this only comes from the black koji, or yeast, indigenous to Okinawa. The black koji is the secret to creating enormous amounts of citrus acid during the pre-distillation process. The citric acid is what prevents any spoilage in the hot humid weather in Okinawa so Awamori can be made year round. Awamori has no additives or preservatives; it is 100% completely natural.

Awamori is distilled and aged like a fine wine. The process takes place in a series of kame, or earthenware pots. The aging in the kame over time is what gives Awamori the outstanding handcrafted quality. It is never mass produced by machines like other spirits.

Awamori was meant to be aged, and aged for a long time. Like many beverages distilled from grains, aging mellows the flavor and rounds out the edges. Therefore, Awamori improves with age. Awamori aged ten years can be wonderful; it becomes even more enjoyable at 20 or 25 years. Even after the bottle is open, Awamori never spoils like Sake; it only becomes smoother and mellower when aged.

The result is a beautiful, handcrafted distilled spirit that to this day remains the most consumed beverage in Okinawa. This versatility is greater than any other distilled spirit. The light, versatile nature allows for endless possibilities with Awamori, any cocktail made with Vodka can be made with Awamori. Awamori can be used in the simplest cocktail like a basic Martini to even the more sophisticated Cosmopolitan to even shooters. The most traditional and popular way to drink Awamori is with water and ice. When served in a restaurant in Okinawa, it is usually accompanied by a container of ice and carafe of water. Awamori can also be drunk straight, on the rocks. 

 
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