Japan is popular for many things, and it always amazes me how each of the Japanese prefectures has a couple of local produce they are each famous for. For Okinawa, which we managed to visit in 2019 just before the pandemic, the prefecture has its iconic liquor – Awamori.
Any visit to the local restaurants and bars in Okinawa, you will have awamori-based liquor options on their drinks menu. This sugar-and-protein-free distilled alcohol is so important in the prefecture that they have designated 1st November of each year to commemorate, and of course savour the 600 years old liquor! We read this commentary by the Okinawa Prefectural Government Singapore Representative Office recently, and perhaps best summarised their thoughts about awamori, “Beer is a drink for the throat. Sake is a drink to be savoured with the mouth, whiskey is a drink to be enjoyed with the stomach, and awamori is a drink to be enjoyed with the heart. We would like to deliver such a drink to you.”
Feel free to have awamori on the rocks, to enjoy the complex flavour profile which is typically stronger than Japanese sake with a touch of sweetness – similar to that of vodka and tequila. Another popular way to enjoy awamori is to use it as a base for mixing up a cocktail. Perhaps with Okinawa being the closest to the tropical climate in the country, many like to match awamori with citrus fruits to enjoy under the sun at the beach or to wind down the night with a refreshing awamori-cocktail.
If you have yet to try awamori, here’s why you should. It has a lower calorie count than other similar alcoholic beverages as it is free of sugar and amino acids! Blessed to have a drink without worrying!
For the next couple of weeks till early March 2022, a couple of restaurants and bars across Singapore are launching various cocktails using awamori. We have plotted a few of them down, and will be looking to visit them in the coming weeks, sharing across some of these drinking spots you can get your fix.
Located in the Boat Quay vicinity, a restaurant bar concept with 3 awamori-based cocktails including the Green Tea Awamori with Soda using Zuisen King awamori. Find out more here.
Atico Lounge and FLNT
Head up to the top of Ion Orchard, where you can find a multi-concept dining destination 1-Group. Atico Lounge is a sky-high lounge offering you views of the Singapore cityscape, whilst you sip on awamori-based cocktails. Alternatively, head to FLNT to have your cocktail with their Japanese-meet-Peruvian food. The refreshing Island of Hope matching Zuisen Seiryu awamori with pineapple umeshu, housemade lemongrass mango juice, kaffir lime and basil seems like a perfect drink. Find out more here.
Visited Bam! some time back, and enjoyed the dining experience there. Noticed the floor-to-ceiling sake cellar at the restaurant too, a node to the Japanese influence to the restaurant. Keeping things simple, Bam! pairs the Ryukyu Ohcho awamori with umeshu and campari to serve up Shugroni for those preferring an oldfashioned cocktail. Find out more here.
Lawry’s The Prime Rib
How about pairing Okinawa awamori with your prime rib? For your next visit here to enjoy their famous Signature Prime Rib served tableside, complete the dinner with the Okinawa Sunset done with Zuisen Seiryu awamori, red wine, brown sugar, lemon, strawberry topped with Soda and Sprite. Find out more here.
This Japanese-Italian restaurant comes complete with food from both cuisine and a chef who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants. Order their namesake cocktail, the Oishii Awamori Sangria, which is prepared with the Kikunotsuyu VIP Gold 5 Years awamori. As with the usual sangria, the cocktail also has red wine, apple juice, yuzu juice, blood orange sparkling, strawberry, kiwi and orange. Find out more here.
Okinawan Diner Nirai-Kanai
Perhaps the most popular Okinawan-cuisine restaurant in Singapore, used to visit them at their previous location at the now-defunct Liang Court. The new location at Great World City retains the authentic traditional Okinawa vibe, and with the same great food that makes Okinawan residents enjoy their longevity. Order the Coffee Awamori here, done with mixing Zuisen Seiryu awamori with Coffee 35 blend. Find out more here.
RPM by D.Bespoke
A bar for the audiophiles, guests enjoys music from the Bartender’s private selection of records. Already carrying various types of liquor from across Japan, perhaps you might have enjoyed an awamori drink here previously. Will be looking to give the Ryukyu Sling a go when I visit RPM by D.Bespoke soon. Inspired by Singapore Sling, Ryukyu pays tribute to the Ryukyu islands which stretch from the south of Kyushu to Taiwan. Find out more here.
ShinnSato Japanese Cuisine
Another Okinawan-cuisine restaurant in Singapore, this is one spot where you can enjoy awamori with the authentic Okinawan food. Offering various awamori brands to be paired with a variety of chopped fruits for an Okinawa take on a Sangria, ShinnSato is a spot to visit after a day out at Singapore’s shopping district Orchard. Find out more here.
Ranted by The Rantee