Awamori, a liquor made by fermenting Indica rice with black jiuqu

Awamori is a liquor made by fermenting Indica rice with black jiuqu and then distilling it, and is produced only in Okinawa prefecture.

Most of them have an alcohol concentration of 30%, but Yonaguni Island, the westernmost point of Japan, produces a special case with an alcohol concentration of 60%.

It is said that the taste improves when it is aged, and the awamori that has been stored for 3 years or more is called Kuusu.

The general way to drink is straight, on the rocks, water, hot water, and carbonated water.

What is Awamori and can I drink it?

Materials of Awamori

Rice and rice jiuqu

Gluten-free Low-gluten Wheat-free Low FODMAPs High FODMAPs
with Beef with Pork with Daily with Egg for Vegetarian
Restaurant Fast food Food supermarket Convenience store Drug store

Awamori was introduced from Thailand 600 years ago

The history of awamori is older than that of Shochu, and it was introduced from Thailand more than 600 years ago.

The raw material rice is not the Japonica rice cultivated in Japan, but the Indica rice cultivated in Thailand and Vietnam, and it is still imported from Thailand and Taiwan. Made by pot still, it has no quirks, has a clean taste, and goes well with any dish.

Awamori is a sake made only in Okinawa prefecture, and 80% of the production is consumed in the prefecture.

Therefore, except in Okinawa prefecture, you can’t drink unless you go to an Okinawan restaurant.

Try to drink Awamori!

How much ?

  • Restaurant: $ 4-6 per 180ml
  • Liquor shop: $ 10-30 per 900ml

Where can I drink Awamori?

  • Okinawa restaurant
    Okinawa Prefecture is a region composed of islands in the southwestern part of Japan and is adjacent to Taiwan. Due to its unique food culture, there are restaurants that serve Okinawan cuisine.
  • Liquor shop
    In Japan, liquor is sold at convenience stores and food supermarkets, but at liquor specialty stores, you can get various kinds of liquor, both domestic and overseas.

Precautions when drinking Awamori


Japanese writer’s comment for Awamori

Both Awamori and rice Shochu are distilled liquors made only from rice, but the taste and aroma are slightly different.

Awamori has the scent of rice, while rice Shochu has the sweet scent of rice. I think rice shochu is closer to sake.

I prefer Awamori because it goes well with any dish. It is recommended to drink on the locks.

There are only about 50 Awamori distilleries in total, and most of them are small factories with less than 10 employees. Each distillery keeps its own taste.