Inaugural Japanese cocktail competition using only national spirits wraps-up

The Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association hosted the first-ever nationwide cocktail competition using “honkaku” (authentic) shochu and awamori, which represent Japan’s national alcoholic spirits, on October 17, 2018, at Asakusa View Hotel in Tokyo.

A total of 20 cocktails based on honkaku shochu and awamori (a distilled spirit indigenous to Okinawa), both rich in flavor and taste unique to their ingredients, were nominated for the event as they were seen to epitomize traditional Japanese aesthetics. Bartenders selected by the 12 branches of the Hotel Barmen’s Association, Japan, gathered from around the country to show their skills in the competition, which combined a written examination and demonstration of skills.

Yumi Miyata emerged as the winner in the Grand Prix as well as the Technical Prize with her original cocktail “Hannari (elegant).” Her original cocktail “Hannari” is a cocktail with a smack of tenderness, with its name derived from the word “hananari (attractive).” It uses liqueur made from herbal elderflower and is spiked with shochu made from highly fragrant Japanese sweet potato to create a soft taste in pale white color blessed with feminine brilliance and quality.

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