Is awamori good for your health?

Awamori, just like any other type of alcohol, is not inherently “good” for health and should always be consumed responsibly and in moderation. So, long story short, it’s better than most other alcohols. Like most distilled non-flavoured spirits, Ryukyu Awamori does not contain carbohydrates, protein, or fat. It is low in calories compared to brewed alcoholic beverages such as sake, beer and wine. Now for the scientific part: Awamori can boost the production of urokinase in the body, an enzyme that has been shown to prevent the formation of blood clots (SOURCE). This urokinase increase improves fibrinolytic enzyme (Plasmin) activity, which helps to prevent thrombosis (cerebral infarction, myocardial infarction, etc.) Awamori is also know for it’s low figures in purines. Excessive intake of purines can lead to an increase in uric acid beyond the body's ability to excrete it. Uric acid buildup in the body can exacerbate conditions such as gout and kidney stones. Some doctors in Japan even prescribe a small dose of Awamori to deal with gout flair-up. So there. We said it: If you’re going to drink, this is the way to go! But please, drink Awamori in moderation.

What is the best way to serve awamori?

Okinawans like their Awamori all natural, neat or on the rocks, and (our favourite) sometimes with a splash of chilled water to really open up the flavors. This is particularly true when it comes to aged Awamori. The subtle nuances brought on by the aging process are best enjoyed this way. Awamori is also a great base for cocktails! If you’ve only tried it on its own this may be surprising as it has such a strong character, but it really does play well with others. Try subsituting awamori for the base spirit in some classic cocktails, or check out our Cocktails page for more inspiration.

IS it true that awamori doesn’t give you a hangover?

In the process of making Awamori, black koji is introduced to the rice after it is steamed. Koji breaks down the starches and proteins in the rice to create a very effective fermentation. This results in a supremely clean distillate, with none of the contaminants that can be found in other types of alcohol made from potatoes, barley, sugar cane, etc. Awamori is only distilled once and no filtration techniques necessary. Perhaps this is the reason some people claim they never get a hangover from Awamori.

What do awamori and karate have in common?

Awamori and Karate both originate in Okinawa. That being said, combining the two ancient traditions makes no sense to us. Practice separately and you’ll live longer. Did we mention that the Okinawan population is famous for its longevity?

Can I Catch awamori from listening to rap music?

That’s quite an unusual question. The answer is a no. On the flip side rap music sounds quite nice when enjoying Awamori. In fact most music sounds nice, even Karaoke. This might help explain the popularity of Karaoke after having a few drinks of Awamori (or any other alcoholic beverage if we’re being honest). You may be inspired to sing more than otherwise, and it may sound very good to your own ears. A room full of friends enjoying Awamori may also have a very positive effect on the subjective quality of singing. So please. Enjoy that music.

is awamori endorsed by a famous celebrity?

Truth be told, Awamori has been distilled in Okinawa for centuries. It is well known in Okinawa, but Awamori has not been exported to Europe or the US with any regularity—until now. Perhaps someone famous will taste the wonders of Awamori and be amazed. If you are someone like that and you happen to love the taste of Awamori, please contact us and tell us all about it. Famous or not, we’d love to hear from you.

what’s the best time to drink awamori?

Once again, and we can’t stress this enough, Awamori is best enjoyed responsibly. So we don’t particularly recommend Awamori for breakfast, although some people have been known to make some bloody fine breakfast/brunch cocktails. Okinawans drink Awamori neat, on ice or with a splash of water, with food and when enjoying a good time with friends and family. Good times can start early and last well into the night. So the best time to drink Awamori? Whenever you want to share this fine ancient spirit with family and friends old and new.

What does the name mean?

That is a very good question. Awamori is believed to derive its name from the bubbles awa (泡) that rise and swell mori (盛) during its distillation. The more bubbles, the higher the alcohol concentration in the final product Another name for awamori commonly used in Okinawa is "island sake" (島酒 shima-zake), or shima for short.