Awamori: the Enchanting Spirit of Okinawa

The Story of Awamori

Awamori, a unique and cherished liquor, holds a captivating story that is deeply woven into the fabric of Okinawan culture and history.

Legend has it that Awamori's origins date back to the 15th century when an influential Chinese envoy named Chen Kan arrived on the shores of Okinawa. Along with him, Chen Kan brought the secrets of distillation, introducing the Okinawans to the art of crafting a potent spirit known as "shochu." However, it was not until later that a distinct variation of this spirit emerged, known as Awamori.

The production of Awamori is an intricate process that showcases the craftsmanship and dedication of its creators. It begins with specific strains of Thai rice, carefully selected for their suitability to the Okinawan climate. The rice is washed, steamed, and then fermented with a special type of black koji mold called "Kuro-koji." The fermentation period can last up to a month, during which time the starches in the rice are transformed into fermentable sugars.

After fermentation, the liquid is distilled in a pot still, and then aged in large earthenware vessels called "kame" for extended periods, ranging from three to fifty years or even longer. This prolonged aging contributes to the development of complex flavors and a smooth, refined taste that sets Awamori apart from other spirits.

Recommended Awamori

Ryukyu Classic is made by Shinzato Shuzo, which is said to be the oldest existing Okinawan distillery, inheriting traditional method and spirit from 170 years ago. Their brewing methods have been guarded by generations, and are believed to continue to inherit the historical and cultural values of the Okinawan craftsmanship monument.

It is a soft, slightly sweet and easy to drink Awamori that is slightly different from the common image of a strong alcoholic tasting Awamori. The secret of its drinkability is a blend of atmospherically distilled aged liquor with a mellow, full-bodied flavor and decompression-distilled liquor that has a fruity aroma and a clean mouthfeel, resulting in a soft, slightly sweet taste. The gentle aroma and light flavor make it easy to pair with food, making it a perfect food drink.



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