RECAP: UKBG Awarmori Masterclass | March 17


Another week, another wonderful livestream masterclass. For all the pain that the Pandemic has caused our industry, it’s at least forcing us humble bartenders to upskill into new ventures! And none more so, than welcoming an entirely new Spirit category to our shores! We continued our KOKUSHU! season of Japanese Beverage Culture, with a masterclass on the ancient Okinawan spirit, of Awamori, in association with Ryukyu 1429 Authentic Awamori. Over 100 guests joined us for a deep dive into the culture, flavours and traditions involved in producing this very unique beverage, as well as learn a selection of deliciously simple cocktail recipes with our UKBG All Star bar veterans.


Ryukyu 1429 Authentic Awamori – L-R: Tsuchi, Kaze, Mizu

Ryukyu 1429 Authentic Awamori – L-R: Tsuchi, Kaze, Mizu


Our thanks go to Jun Ogawa, Brand Owner for Ryukyu 1429 and Awamori specialist, who led a wonderfully detailed overview of both the spirit’s history, and production and helped bind the session together. We welcomed back Miho Komatsu of Marussia Beverages, returning once again to give us an great primer on the nature of Japanese alcoholic drinks – Nihonshu – as well as the roots of rice-based drinks products. Most importantly, Miho led our session toast – which we’re beginning to think is a great way to start *any* livestream masterclass! Jun went on to introduce the audience to the new wave of marketing and branding, emerging with today’s Awamori renaissance, a drink that was once only made for for the kings of the Ryukyu Islands. He then took us through the history of his own brand, Ryukyu 1429, while covering the different families of the spirit – Mizu, Tsuchi and Kaze.


Jun Ogawa, Ryukyu 1429 Brand Owner

Jun Ogawa, Ryukyu 1429 Brand Owner

We then had the honour of welcoming Mr. Tsutomu Oshiro, CEO of Chuko Awamori Distillery, and master distiller for Tsuchi Awamori, for a live Q&A with our audience, where he responded – via live translation from Jun! – to questions from audience. We managed to get through quite a few topics, from the clay used for the bottles, to more technical queries about the distillation procedure. It was a real gift to be able to listen to the level of craftsmanship involved in the production of each batch.


Mr. Tsutomu Oshiro, CEO of Chuko Awamori Distillery, Tsuchi Master Distiller


We then moved on to the practicalities of Awamori – making and preparing cocktails! We had our amazing team of UKBG Allstar Veterans on hand to show us their serves, and tell us their stories and experience of Awamori and Japanese culture. We opened with Giulio Amodio, Bar Manager at China Tang and Global Brand Ambassador for Ryukyu 1429, joining us all the way from sunny Calabria in the South of Italy (technology is amazing!). Giulio’s opening gambit was a Kaze-loe Highball, a delightful take featuring Aloe Vera soda. He then went on to demonstrate the versatility of the spirit with an adaptation of the classic Margarita – which he titled, ‘Mizukiri’, after the Mizu used in it. Next we had Alessandro Palazzi, Bar Manager of Duke’s, sharing a Negroni classic-influenced serve, he titled Per Francesca‘, dedicated to Ryukyu 1429’s Italy brand ambassador, all the while sharing his thoughts on the range of notes one could achieve from the category. Last, but definitely not least, we welcomed our former President and international ambassador, Peter Dorelli, who shared his deeply floral and wonderfully textured Tsuchi-inspired cocktail, which he titled ‘Awamori Serenade‘, featuring hibiscus, elderflower and pink grapefruit jam. All of our recipes and methods are shared below!


A snapshot of the audience!

We finished off the session jumping between conversations, audience Q&A and tasting guides. The full session recording of the show will be available for members, and we’ll be sharing out the link in our next email – so if you haven’t subscribed – do it now!

Once again, a massive thank you to everyone who attended. We managed to stay on time, and slowly but surely, our production quality is increasing. If you’d like to help with future events – or maybe you have your own ideas for content to develop for the community – get in touch! The UKBG is only as strong as it’s membership, and being united in purpose and cause – we can achieve anything. Even making a hit internet TV channel. Maybe 🙂


Get your Ryukyu 1429 Authentic Awamori downloadable learning resource here

Cocktail Recipes


Name: Awamori Serenade
50 ml Ryukyu 1429 Tsuchi Awamori
25 ml Fresh lime juice
10 ml Wild Hibiscus syrup
10 ml Elderflower Cordial
2 tsps Pink Grapefruit Marmalade
Method: Shaken
Glass: Martini glass
Garnish: Hibiscus

CREATED BY: Peter Dorelli – UKBG International Ambassador (2021)

Name: Per Francesca
30 ml Ruykyu 1429 Tsuchi Awamori
30 ml Starlino Rosso
30 ml Sacred rosso cup
1 Spray Yuzu Distilled (Acquavite)
1 drop of orange juice
Method: Shaken
Glass: Martini glass
Garnish: Hibiscus

CREATED BY: Alessandro Palazzi, Bar Manager, Duke’s (2020)

Name: Kaze-Loe Highball
50ml Ryukyu1429 Kaze Awamori
Top up homemade Aloe Vera Soda
Method: Build over chunked ice
Glass: High Ball
Garnish: No Garnish – or Aloe Vera leaf if you’re fancy!

CREATED BY: Giulio Amodio for China Tang at the Dorchester

Recipe for Aloe Vera soda: Yield 1 lt:
70% Aloe Vera juice
30% Still water
Method: Pour ingredients in a soda syphon with soda charge, and serve.

Name: Mizukiri
50ml Ryukyu1429 Mizu Awamori
15ml Cedro Liquer
15ml sugar syrup
20ml lime juice
3 drops cedro 🍋 oil (or lime juice)
Distilled Sea water sprayed on the rim.
Method: Shaken
Glass: Rock Glass (Wine Glass pictured)
Garnish: Citrus Leaf

CREATED BY: Giulio Amodio for China Tang at the Dorchester


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