Bartenders compete for Awamori Cocktail Contest title

In addition to domestic competitors, this year’s contest features 25 mixologists specifically invited from Taiwan and Korea.

The 11th All Japan Awamori Cocktail Contest  kicks off Sunday afternoon with more than two dozen of Asia’s best bartenders wanting to win the title of ‘Best Awamori Cocktail Artisan’.

This nation-wide event is organized by the Awamori Meister Association in Okinawa in order to improve bartenders in society, stimulate the tourism industry, spread Awamori culture and foster human resources.  This year, the association is has invited 25 people –including 15 competitors from Taiwan and 15 involved people including 6 competitors from Korea. The association is also aiming at skill and friendship exchange among overseas countries—for the Sunday afternoon competition at the Pacific Hotel in Naha City.

The competition has two categories; one for drinks in long glasses, the other for short glasses.

The competition has two categories of short and long glasses, and each category will be judged by five judges including foreign visitors. The judges will see its naming, originality, skill, sanitary and timing along with color, flavor and smell.  Contestants need to use more than 30 ml of Awamori as base and cannot include more than five kinds of ingredients per glass. The time limit is 4 minutes for a short cocktail and 5 minutes for a long glass.  Only one winner will be selected in each category.

Doors open at 12:30 p.m. Sunday and the competition begins at 1 p.m.  Observing the three-hour competition is free.  A cocktail party and award ceremony begins at 5 p.m.  Advance tickets for the cocktail party and award ceremony are ¥3,000, or ¥4,000 at the door.  Anyone can join in the cocktail party and enjoy cocktails.

The competition takes place at the Manza banquet room on the second floor of the Pacific Hotel Okinawa in Naha,  3-6-1, Nishi, Naha City.  Details about the Okinawa Awamori Association are available on its website: http://www.okinawa-awamori.or.jp/english/enjoy.html