Ryukyu Awamori Promotion from March 7th to 9th


Awamori Lecture & Tasting for Bartender (3/7)

An awamori lecture and demonstration was held with renowned awamori specialist, Mr. HIGA Koji from Japan (owner of the membership bar in Okinawa). On March 7th, bartenders, chefs, and bartender school students joined a lecture on history and the culture of awamori, as well as a tasting. Awamori’s versatility as a cocktail ingredient was on display at the event with the creation of familiar cocktails using awamori as the base, rather than more traditional liquors. 

At the lecture, Mr. Higa explained Okinawa’s geography, history and culture. With the tasting of several varieties, he also explained the flavor variations arising from differences in alcohol percentages and aging. Participants also had the chance to become more familiar with the characteristics of awamori by making their own cocktails.  The event wrapped-up with information on awamori distributors and retailers for future purchasing.

Social media users were also encouraged to upload their experiences at the event -- some of whom did -- further promoting awamori and referencing the social media platforms of “#japanesecraftspirits” and “#Awamori”.

Positive feedback from participants included: “I have been to Okinawa to learn about awamori, but I have never heard this much information. It was a very informative lecture”; and, “I never heard of awamori before, but I feel familiar now by utilizing them for cocktails.”

Awamori Lecture & Tasting by Mr. HIGA Koji
Participants at the Lecture
Awamori Cocktail “Awamorita
introduced via social media

Awamori Lecture & Tasting for General Public (3/8)

An awamori lecture & testing for the general public was held on March 8th at 7 Journey (the City of Aliso Viejo). Awamori’s potential as a cocktail ingredient was introduced, by providing opportunities to make cocktails with awamori at the event.

At the lecture, Mr. Higa explained Okinawa’s geography, history and culture. The participants also enjoyed a noble experience by sampling the very rare awamori which had been served only to royalty in the Ryukyu Kingdom, with special awamori cups that Mr. Higa brought from Japan.
With four types of awamori highlighted in the tasting, Mr. Higa explained the flavor variations created by alcohol content and storage & aging conditions. To gain more familiarity with awamori, participants had the hands-on experience of making cocktails with awamori. At the end of the event, information on locations to purchase the awamori featured at the event was provided to inform future purchasing. 

Participants’ comments included: “I know about Japanese whisky, but I didn’t know about the Japanese traditional distilled spirit, awamori. I found it very attractive spirit that has rich history and culture”; and, “I could feel more familiar with awamori though the experience of making cocktails at the event”. Some of the participants made several cocktails and thoroughly enjoyed their new experience with awamori.

Awamori Lecture & Testing by Mr. HIGA Koji
Participants at the lecture
Awamori Cocktail. From left, “Old Fashioned”,
Awamorita”, “Martini”

Awamori Pop-Up Event at Bar (3/9)

An awamori promotional pop-up event “Let’s Awamori – Featured Flight” was held at a beer specialty bar in Culver City. At the bar, a special flight of 1 oz. each of four different kinds of awamori was served for $12. The customers who ordered the special flight got the chance to learn the history and culture of awamori from Mr. HIGA Koji, Japanese awamori expert, and experienced “Royal Spirits” with special awamori cups. A total of 15 customers ordered the special menu on March 9th.

Up to now, this bar has been serving a wide range of Japanese craft beer, Japanese sake, and Shochu -- at the event, they served awamori for the first time.

The customers commented: “I learned about awamori for the first time. It was very easy to drink”; and, “I didn’t know about awamori before. After learning its history and culture, I found it a very familiar beverage. I want to try it again.”  

Through these events, we could promote awamori to local bartenders as well as the general public. The events provided unique opportunities to learn about awamori, not only through lectures and tastings, but also by encouraging participants to create their own awamori cocktails. The pop-up event at the bar also created an opportunity to introduce awamori to customers unfamiliar with this traditional Japanese spirit.

Mr. Higa explains “Awamori Flight”
Special Menu & Awamori cups