THE SPIRIT OF OKINAWA
PRESERVED FOR CENTURIES AS THE OLDEST DISTILLED SPIRIT IN THE WORLD
Awamori is the treasured spirit of the ancient RYUKYU Kingdom of Japan. This small cluster of islands is now known as Okinawa, but the 600+ year old spirit continues to play an integral role in the culture. Awamori owes its existence in part to Okinawa's rich trading history; Its central location on trade routes between Japan, China, Taiwan and neighboring countries made the kingdom a vibrant melting pot of cultures and flavours. Awamori is a beautiful result of this cultural fusion. It originates from the Thai drink Lao Khao and its main ingredient, indica rice, also hails from Thailand. The Okinawans refined the distillation process and created something uniquely and beautifully representative of the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Behind every spirit lies a great culture
From the 15th to 19th century, Awamori was often sent as a tribute to Okinawa's powerful neighbors China and Japan. It’s still enjoyed traditionally among friends and family, typically chilled on its own or with a few drops of water. Outside of a few technological innovations, very little has changed in the production of the spirit since its inception centuries ago. Ryukyu 1429 adheres to these traditional production methods and is therefore truly an authentic Awamori. It is inextricably linked to the culture and traditions of Okinawa.
Awamori is known to be the oldest spirit distilled in Japan, possibly even the world, with a distillation history that predates Vodka, Whiskey or Gin.
Awamori is a distilled rice liquor. It is not to be confused with Sake, fermented rice wine but not distilled like Awamori. It also differs from Japanese shochu in several ways. Shochu can contain various other ingredients such as sweet potatoes, barley, even carrots, and needs to be distilled at least twice to clean out impurities. Authentic Awamori can only have three ingredients: Water, indica rice and black koji mold. The exceptionally pure water is mixed with the rice and the koji is left to rest in the mash for 2-4 days (more on that in the next section). It is distilled only once in steel pot stills. If it is aged, the traditional aging process takes place in clay pots called kame, but modern methods usually use stainless steel. The resulting distillation is one of the cleanest, purest spirits in existence.
Black Koji Magic
Black koji mold (Aspergillus awamori) indigenous to Okinawa is an essential ingredient of the production of Awamori. It produces a large amount of citric acid which prevents undesirable contamination from bacteria. Black Koji also produces enzymes that encourage saccharification of starch in the grain. Yeast then converts the sugar in the rice into alcohol. This process also produces large quantities of gasses that bubble as the mash is stirred (and this is one theory of the origin of the name “awamori”). The purity and simplicity of the ingredients and the process eliminate the need for a second distillation.
A haven of purity, longevity and tradition.
Made for cocktails
RYUKYU 1429 Authetic Ryukyu Awamori is an ideal spirit base or inclusion for cocktails. It blends beautifully with a wild range of flavours while not getting lost in the background. To most western bartenders it is an entirely new white spirit to work with and so far they have stepped up to the challenge and created some truly delicious and surprising cocktails.
RICE AND BERRY
DO YOU TRUST ME
Kristján B. Jóhannsson
The yin and the Yanxious
RICE ABOVE #2
FROM OKINAWA AND BACK AGAIN
Sævar Helgi Örnólfsson
Man in the mountains
Þórhildur Kristín Lárentsínusdóttir
TREE OF THREE
Ólafur Andri Benediktsson